Parents fearful of being chastised for not vaccinating their chi

Parents fearful of being chastised for not vaccinating their children

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

It's a battle between a parent's right to know and a parent's right to privacy. 

A bill is making its way through the Texas Legislature that takes aim at informing parents how many students at each school are not vaccinated. 

Right now each school district is required to report the number of unvaccinated children in pre-k, kindergarten and 7th grade. H.B. 2249 seeks to have those numbers reported at the individual school level. 

"We are not changing the amount of work, we are not changing, keeping everything identified," said Rep. J.D. Sheffield (R-Gatesville). "The school nurses continue to collect the same information. They will report that information to the state, that's by campus level as well as district. This type of information will be on the internet. Very importantly all of this information continues to be de-identified."

Jackie Schlegel with the Texans for Vaccine Choice said the proposed legislation would make it easier to publicly shame parents for choosing not to vaccinate.

"They're really creating this witch hunt after these families and these children and our fear is for them and their medical privacy," Schlegel said.

Rep. Sheffield said student's health records would remain protected under HIPPA.

"Those names have never been released before, we're surely not going to release them now," he said. "Again, all we're asking is a head count to obtain the vaccination levels to determine herd immunity so that parents with immunial compromised or chronic diseases can feel safe about their choice of school where there child will be enrolled to have the least chance possible of contracting a contagious or infectious disease."

 Schlegel said there are better ways to go about protecting these children though.

"As a parent of one of these children, I would argue that a better way to look at this would be to report the overall rates of infectious disease on campus," she said. "Not the vaccination status."

According to Lubbock ISD, only a handful of students claimed some type of exemption. You can find a full list of school exemptions on the Texas Health and Human Services web page. 

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