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Doctors Worry As Texas Lawmakers OK Vaccine Restrictions

A bill passed Friday in the Texas House that would limit and restrict immunizations to children taken into state custody.

Texas would restrict emergency immunizations given to children removed from troubled homes under legislation that worries doctors and is a victory for vaccination opponents.

The bill passed Friday in the Texas House comes as more families statewide are not vaccinating their children. More than 44,000 parents in Texas filed personal-belief exemptions last school year, a nearly twentyfold jump from 2003.

The new law would ban emergency vaccinations other than tetanus for children taken into state custody. Doctors say there are real implications.

Dr. Anu Partap is director of the Rees-Jones Center for Foster Care Excellence at Children’s Health in Dallas. She says she gave pertussis vaccines to new foster children last year following a North Texas outbreak.

She says the new law wouldn’t let her do the same again.

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