IDHW board approves pending birth certificate, vaccination rule changes

By Melissa Davlin, Idaho Reports


On Thursday, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare Board of Directors voted to officially adopt proposed rule changes establishing a process to change the sex on birth certificates issued in Idaho.

The rule comes after a March U.S. District Court ruling, which ordered Idaho to allow transgender people born in the state to change the gender markers on their birth certificates.

Last week’s vote moves that rule change forward to the Idaho Legislature for final approval during the 2019 session.

Elke Shaw-Tulloch, administrator for the Division of Public Health at IDHW, said since the initial rule proposal, the state of Idaho has received 66 applications to change birth certificates. Of those, 40 have already been processed, while the rest are still pending. Most of the applications have been for adults, though 11 have been on behalf of minors.

Shaw-Tulloch noted that because the rule was the result of a court order, it did not go through the typical administrative negotiated rule-making process.

Another rule change adds a booster of meningococcal vaccination to the immunization requirements for students entering the 12th grade. The board also adopted rules clarifying that parents may submit a signed statement exempting their children from immunization requirements, as opposed to a form provided by the school or licensed daycare facility.

The department received 9 comments opposed to the meningococcal vaccination requirement, and 44 comments supporting the change.

Like the birth certificate rule, those rule changes, which have been in effect since May, will be presented to the Idaho Legislature for final approval during the 2019 session.


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