New Bill Would Expose Student Vaccination Information

New Bill Would Expose Student Vaccination Information

By: Julia Deng
NewsWest 9

AUSTIN - New legislation could soon change the way your child's medical information is shared by Texas public schools.

Lawmakers met Tuesday at the state capitol to discuss House Bill 2474, which would require schools to disclose the number of vaccination waivers on campus - valuable information to Jill Guerrero, a Houston mother whose five-year-old son, Luke, is battling cancer.

Chemotherapy has weakened his immune system, making him more susceptible to disease.

"I need to know about the choices that his classmates have made so that I can protect him as much as I can," Guerrero said. "We've got to have this bill passed. Why would we not pass this bill?"

Under current state law, information about unvaccinated students is only available at the district level.

If HB 2474 passes, schools would need to disclose how many students had opted out of vaccines, but not their names or other identifying facts.

Opponents of the bill, including National Vaccine Information Center advocacy director Dawn Richardson, call it a "vaccine discrimination bill.'

"It's about outing the small number of families that don't have every single government vaccine," she said. "To pit parent against parent, to use community peer pressure to do the job that the doctors haven't been able to do is to try and coerce and force parents into vaccinating."

Texas parents can currently opt out of vaccinating their children in daycare, grade school and college.