ACTION IN THE LEGISLATURE: Public Health Committee Hearing

This week, the House Committee on Public Health met for the first time. The Committee is composed of five Democrats and six Republicans. Two members are newly elected for the full session (Jolanda Jones and Venton Jones), and two members are new to this Committee (Ann Johnson and Tony Tinderholt). Today, all members were present with the exception of Jacey Jetton.

Only invited testimony was permitted, and only representatives from three state agencies were invited – Department of State Health Services, State Board of Pharmacy, and Health and Human Services Commission.

During the testimony of DSHS Commissioner Dr. Jennifer Shuford, several agency programs were discussed, many of which involve infectious disease prevention and the distribution and administration of vaccines throughout the state. Dr. Shuford was careful to mention that the Texas Vaccines for Children program only provides vaccines to uninsured and underinsured children with parental consent. After her testimony concluded, she welcomed questions from committee members.

Rep. Ann Johnson asked what can be done to counter vaccine “misinformation and disinformation” to prevent the re-emergence of infectious diseases. Dr. Shuford referred to a recent “outbreak” in Ohio during which 86 patients contracted measles. She was quick to point out that a majority of those infected were under the age of 5. Rep. Reggie Smith followed with his own loaded question, asking Dr. Shuford how many of those children were vaccinated. Dr. Shuford did not clarify that in order for a child to be considered “fully vaccinated” with MMR, they must complete a two-shot series between ages four and six years old. Since about a third of the Ohio cases were in children under the age of five, they are considered up to date for their ages, context that the Commissioner conveniently omitted.

Next up was the Pharmacy Board, represented by President Julie Spier. Among other issues, she discussed how, under the federal PREP Act, pharmacists and pharmacy technicians were authorized to administer COVID and other ACIP-recommended childhood vaccines to patients aged 3-18 (younger if referred by a physician). Texas pharmacies were able to give 10.5 million COVID vaccines in the last two years. Spier considers this a way to make pharmacies a “true access point” for healthcare, and hopes the legislature will consider making this authorization permanent. There is currently a bill filed by Rep. Four Price (who is a member of the Public Health Committee) to do just that. Spier also advocated for pharmacists to maintain “exclusive authority” to use their best judgment in dispensing medications prescribed by physicians. This authority allows pharmacists to deny patients access to alternative COVID treatments such as Ivermectin.

8 thoughts on “<a>ACTION IN THE LEGISLATURE: Public Health Committee Hearing</a>”

  1. I would possibly understand a vaccine mandate if:
    -there was a real pandemic
    -if the vaccines were really safe and effective
    -if there was no other solution.


  2. If ivermectin is down to actually work and is prescribed by a doctor, I don’t think it should be over-ruled by a pharmacist in my opinion.

  3. The Texas swamp is so foul. Just be sure to cleanse with the Holy Spirit after each exposure to it.
    And thank you for your efforts to expose it!

  4. There should never never be a vaccine mandate unless big pharmaceutical, doctors, CDC, FDA and the State of Texas want to take 100% responsibility for all adverse reactions.

  5. Sandy Schaefer

    Since when are pharmacists & pharmacy techs properly trained to give injections?? There’s a right & a wrong way to draw up injections, as well as administer without damage to muscles, etc.

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