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Newborn Screenings & Immunizations

Newborn Hearing Screen

A newborn hearing screen helps detect possible hearing loss. It should be performed prior to hospital discharge. Early detection of hearing loss can lead to early intervention, such as hearing aids, if needed. Early intervention, by 6 months of age, can dramatically increase the quality of life for a child with hearing loss.

A trained screener will place three small pads (sensors), which are attached to a computer, on your baby. An earpiece is then placed over each ear. The computer sends a series of soft sounds equivalent to a whisper to each ear. When these sounds are played, the sensors measure your baby’s brain response to the sound and interpret how well your baby is able to hear them. A ‘pass’ or ‘did not pass’ (refer) result is recorded for each ear.

If your baby does not pass the screen in one or both ears, depending on hospital and state guidelines, recommendations may include an outpatient re-screen or a follow-up appointment with an audiologist to confirm or rule out hearing loss.

Concern for your baby’s hearing should not stop at birth. Hearing loss can develop months or even years later. If you have a family history of early childhood hearing loss, we recommend another hearing screen between 3 and 6 months of age. Always consult with your baby’s doctor for specific recommendations.

Please complete the Newborn Hearing Screen consent form.

Medical Tests and Vaccines

Memorial Hermann’s expert staff will conduct key medical screenings after your child is born and request permission for vaccinations recommended by the CDC and the State of Texas. If you’re expecting a boy, circumcision will also be addressed. 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.

How does Texas Immunization Registry (ImmTrac) work?

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 are 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 created.

How does ImmTrac help to protect my child?

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.

Who has access to the information?

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.

How do I register my child?

To register your child for ImmTrac participation you must grant consent in writing by:

  • Completing and signing the ImmTrac Registration Form offered by the birth registrar during the birth certificate process (newborn children only).
  • Completing, signing, and mailing or faxing to ImmTrac the Consent Form (English or Spanish), along with copies of any immunization records you have for your child. You may mail the Consent Form to:

    Texas Department of State Health Service
    ImmTrac Group T-301
    1100 West 49th Street, Austin, Texas 78756

    or Fax to:
    (512) 458-7290 (Austin)
    (866) 624-0180 (toll free)
  • Calling the Immunization Branch at (800) 252-9152 to request an ImmTrac Consent Form.

Consent is required to be obtained only one time, and is valid until the child becomes 18 years of age, unless the consent is withdrawn in writing.

How can I find more information on ImmTrac?

Call: (800) 252-9152
Email: ImmTrac@dshs.state.tx.us
Write to: DSHS Immunization Branch 1100 West 49th St. Austin, TX 78756