Unless children fill out an ImmTrac Adult Consent Form [PDF] when they turn 18, the state will purge their immunization records from the ImmTrac immunization registry one year later. Legislation passed in 2009 authorizes the inclusion of adult immunization records in ImmTrac, but patients whose parents registered them for ImmTrac as children must sign the adult consent form when they turn 18 for the state to continue keeping their records in the registry.
The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) maintains ImmTrac. It currently includes the records of almost 6 million children younger than 19, as well as the records of first responders and their families.
A state immunization registry is an essential tool for promoting proper immunization. Physicians are important parts of building and maintaining a strong immunization registry for children and adults. Physicians not only inform their patients about the registry, but they also have access to the patient immunization records. This is critical to ensure patients are properly immunized without duplicating recommended vaccines. A well-managed and populated registry can also be a tool to help interpret the immunization schedule and identify populations at high risk for diseases.
TMA's Council on Health Promotion asks physicians to encourage their young patients to fill out a consent form when they turn 18.
Maintaining adult records in ImmTrac is important because:
- The need for vaccination extends throughout life. Adults are advised to receive vaccines based on age, occupation, and other risk factors related to exposure to vaccine-preventable diseases.
- Adults move and can be vaccinated in many places by different physicians, and even at pharmacies, establishing different locations for the records. A statewide registry allows for central storage and makes these records accessible.
- Colleges and many workplaces require proof of vaccination. ImmTrac makes it possible to consolidate an individual's immunizations and produce one official immunization record.
You may register to participate in ImmTrac online [PDF] or you may request information by calling (800) 348-9152.
Action, Feb. 15, 2012