Tracking records through ImmTrac

In last week’s article it stated, “There is no central repository of vaccination records;” that is no longer true due to ImmTrac, the Texas immunization registry. ImmTrac is a free service from the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS). It is a secure, confidential registry that stores children’s, Texas first responders’ and first responder family members’ vaccine information electronically in one centralized system.ImmTrac contains over 73 million immunization records for more than 5.8 million Texas children younger than 18 years of age. This valuable information comes from a variety of sources including private health-care providers, public health clinics; Medicaid claims administrators, the Bureau of Vital Statistics (VSU), and Women, Infants and Children (WIC) clinics. Regardless of the number of sources, each client’s immunization information is consolidated into one electronic record.Authorized professionals such as doctors, nurses and public health providers can access clients’ vaccination histories. The Registry is a major component of the DSHS initiative to increase vaccination coverage across Texas.When a health-care provider gives your child an immunization, and you consent to registering this information, the statewide immunization registry, known as ImmTrac, is notified. ImmTrac will keep an electronic immunization record on your child. Some information contained in the registry is the child's name, date-of-birth, address, the name of the parent or guardian, information on the shots given and who gave them. Optional (but very helpful) information stored in ImmTrac is the child's Social Security number and mother's maiden name. This optional information helps prevent duplicate records from being made. Providers authorized to use ImmTrac can see what immunizations your child has already had, even if they were given in another city or county. So when you come in for shots, your child gets only those that he or she needs.This means that your child won't be under-vaccinated and more susceptible to diseases. Your child won't be over-vaccinated either, so he or she does not have to go through any more discomfort than is necessary. ImmTrac can also print out a shot record you can use to get your child into school or childcare. Using ImmTrac, immunization providers can remind you to bring your child in for shots that are due, or to notify you about shots that are overdue. Your privacy is protected. Your child's immunization information is available only to persons authorized by law to see it. Only doctors, schools, childcare centers, and public health providers with ImmTrac-issued identification numbers and passwords may view the information.If you are in need of immunizations, the Sweetwater-Nolan County Health Department (SNCHD) has immunization clinic every Wednesday from 8:30-11:30 a.m. and 1-4:30 p.m., and on the second Wednesday of each month until 6 p.m. The cost is $6 through the Vaccine For Children Program. CHIPS and Medicaid are accepted. If you have any questions about regarding vaccine requirements, immunization records or the Texas immunization registry call the SNCHD at 235-5463.