AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The House has approved allowing parents to opt-out of participating in a state immunization registry, rather than the current system allowing them to opt-in.
The bill drew bipartisan support and passed 92 to 55 on Wednesday. It was strongly opposed by tea party-backed representatives.
The information collected is only accessible to doctors. But critics worried what would happen if it fell into the wrong hands.
Its sponsor, Austin Democratic Rep. Donna Howard, noted that vaccinations have stopped diseases that used to be pandemics.
She asked critics, "What are you afraid would happen to the records?"
Longview Republican Rep. David Simpson said a default opt-in would make the registry grow larger and could lead to the harassment of participants.
He asked, "Should parents take care of children or should the state?"