DSHS: Encourage 18-year-old patients to consent to ImmTrac adult immunization registry
The Texas Department of State Health Services is asking family physicians to reach out to patients in their late teens and their parents to ensure their immunization records from the original childhood registry follow them into adulthood.
ImmTrac, the Texas immunization registry, has matured into a lifetime registry with the passing of Senate Bill 346. The Texas immunization registry began in 1997 as a children’s immunization registry storing immunization records electronically in one centralized location. The law transformed the service into a lifetime registry in 2009, allowing Texas residents, age 18 and older, to register with ImmTrac.
Prior to 2009, when a minor ImmTrac client turned 18, all of their immunization records were purged from the system. Now, when an ImmTrac child turns 18, their records are frozen. The client’s status is then changed to “pending adult” until the client signs an ImmTrac adult consent form.
A physician will not be able to see the pending adult’s immunization records until that client has been affirmed as an ImmTrac adult. If the 18-year-old client does not sign an ImmTrac adult consent form before their 19th birthday, their records will be purged.
A past ImmTrac child client may re-enroll in ImmTrac as an adult at any time. If their records have been purged from ImmTrac, the client will need to provide a signed ImmTrac Adult Consent Form (available for download at ImmTracForEveryone.com) and send an official copy of their immunization record(s) to their ImmTrac-authorized health care provider, local health department, health service region, or the Texas Department of State Health Services ImmTrac office to register.
ImmTrac is working with school nurses, college counselors, and many others to educate young adults and their parents on the benefits of continuing into adulthood as an ImmTrac client. This is a challenging endeavor and ImmTrac welcomes any assistance from the Texas Academy of Family Physicians members and their staff in getting the word out.
Texans of all ages may register to be a part of the ImmTrac. A client does not need to be up to date on their immunizations to enroll, nor are they required to have been registered in ImmTrac as a child to participate.
No matter what the next phase of a young adult’s life is — whether beginning college, enlisting in the military, or joining the workforce — DSHS emphasizes that keeping track of immunization records is important. “Let ImmTrac store your immunization records, so you don’t have to!”