Many of the laws passed by the recent Texas Legislature are set to take effect at the beginning of September and some will change the way that immunizations are handled in the state.
One of the changes will allow teen parents to consent for their own vaccines as well as their babies. It was a small quirk in the law, but doctors and nurses say the change will make a big difference when it comes to caring for children.
"I was feeling a little frustrated from the way Texas law works," Dr. Celia Neavel with People’s Community Clinic said.
That's because Dr. Neavel has seen many teen parents who would bring their babies in for vaccinations, but could not consent to get their own immunizations because they are minors.
"It was actually a little embarrassing,” she said. “It was a little awkward to say, 'Well, you can sign for your baby. It would be great if you had this, but right now we're going to have to get somebody to sign. You're going to have to come back with a parent,'" Dr. Neavel said.
Legislators also passed a measure meant to protect the health of children in daycare. The new law requires licensed child care facilities to establish a vaccine plan for their workers who care for kids.
“If it turns out that daycare chose not to have that layer of protection, they could choose to go elsewhere," Georgia Armstrong with People’s Community Clinic said.
There are some exceptions to what teens can consent to without a parent. Dr. Neavel says the law does not allow the minor teen to get the HPV vaccine or meningococcal vaccine unless a parent signs for them.