I am a current resident of our city and I am writing to express my concern about a trending discussion and the pending House Bill 1490 in regard to immunizations in an educational setting. The HB 1490, introduced by Representative Matt Krause, aims to make vaccine exemptions easier to access for public school students. The bill would also prevent the Texas Department of State Health Services from maintaining a record of those vaccine exemptions. This would impact the method used to find the number of affidavit forms submitted, if a possible outbreak was triggered by an unvaccinated child.
According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, the 2019-2020 flu season yielded 15 pediatric flu deaths to date. The United States as a whole had an influx of preventable illnesses such as the measles, influenza, pertussis or whooping cough and chicken pox. We are also now dealing with new viruses such as the infamous Coronavirus or (COVID-19).
Unvaccinated children are not only at risk themselves but putting children around them at risk as well. I encourage not only yourself but the public as well to research and read current statistics on the rise of preventable diseases and pediatric deaths due to exemptions and unvaccinated children. The House Bill 1490, written and introduced by Representative Matt Krause, should not become a law.
Chelsie R. Sharpe, Kingsville