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New York

July 12, 2006

Senate Bill 8227: Statewide Immunization Registry

Author:
Senator Hannon

Summary:
HSLDA alerted our members of our concerns about Senate Bill 8227 shortly after it was introduced. This bill creates a statewide immunization registry to store and track all of the immunizations given to children from 19 and under. While hundreds of members called, this bill was railroaded through both the Senate and Assembly on June 23, the last day of the session.

Effective December 1, all health care providers will be required to notify the immunization registry of every immunization given to any children 19 and under along with certain additional information. The bill was amended in an attempt to provide greater protection of the information contained in the registry. Information on families claiming medical or religious exemptions to immunization will also be kept in the registry.

We believe such record keeping of personal medical information by the state is an unnecessary and threatening invasion of privacy. Private medical providers already do an excellent job of maintaining records on patients receiving immunizations. With this type of registry there is a real possibility that parents who choose not to have their children vaccinated as prescribed by the state could be reported to Social Services for medical neglect.

Status:

06/13/2006(Senate) Introduced and Referred to Committee on Senate Rules
06/20/2006 Amend and Recommit to Rules
06/20/2006 Print Number 8227A
06/22/2006 Ordered to Third Reading Cal.2163
06/22/2006Amended on Third Reading 8227B
06/23/2006Message of Necessity—Three-day Message
06/23/2006Passed Senate
06/23/2006Delivered to Assembly
06/23/2006Referred to Ways and Means
06/23/2006Ssubstituted for A12021A
06/23/2006Ordered to Third Reading Rules Cal.1567
06/23/2006Message of Necessity—Three-day Message
06/23/2006Passed Assembly
06/23/2006Returned to Senate

HSLDA's Position:
We opposed this bill.

Action Requested:
No action necessary at this time.

Background: Under S.B. 8227, the immunization registry will collect and store a child’s name, date of birth, sex, mother’s name, types and dates of vaccines given along with the date the shot was given. The immunization registry will be able to provide these records to any person or agency authorized by the state who is concerned with the immunization or health-care screening of children.

The registry is required to keep these immunization records confidential and secure. However, one of the overall goals for creating the statewide immunization registry is to provide the immunization status of children available to all authorized users. This list includes local health districts, health-care providers, schools, and local social services district responsible for the care and custody of the children.

Another purpose of the immunization registry that is specifically highlighted in the bill would be to use this immunization information to keep track of the immunization status of each child and notify the parents when their child is due or late for various immunizations.

The potential invasion of you and your family’s privacy is great. One such invasion of privacy could occur during an investigation by social services. In our experience one of the questions that our members have routinely been asked during the course of an investigation is the status of their children’s immunizations. In the future, if a social worker could request information on your child’s immunizations from the statewide immunization registry your family could suddenly be facing medical neglect questions even though the initial allegations had nothing to do with the medical decisions you have made in connection with your children.

 Other Resources

Jun.-19-2006—New York—Calls Needed Now to Stop Immunization Bill

Bill Text

Bill History