Tuesday, July 14, 2009

SENATE DEMOCRATS APPLAUD BILL TO ALLOW ADULT ACCESS TO IMMUNIZATION INFORMATION SYSTEM

STATE CAPITOL, Phoenix – A bill that will allow a person’s physician to access childhood and adult records in the state immunization system was recently signed into law by Governor Jan Brewer. The bill, regarding the administration of immunizations by pharmacists (HB 2164), included a provision that would allow adult immunization records to be added to the current system for recording childhood immunization records.

The Arizona State Immunization Information System was created in 1998 as a registry for children from birth to 18 years old. Upon enactment, an adult’s health care provider will be able to access a person’s immunization history if it is available in the system. The bill requires pharmacists to report information to any adult immunization information system or vaccine registry established by the Department of Health Services. The bill also allows a person to request that information be withheld from disclosure from the System.

“We congratulate the legislature on its action to bring more resources to the protection of the public through immunization and technology,” said Sen. McCune Davis. “We are grateful to the pharmacists for stepping into this new role for the benefit of all Arizonans.”

Sen. Amanda Aguirre introduced the amendment to expand the System during a hearing in the Senate Committee on Healthcare and Medical Liability Reform. The bill passed the Senate with a 28-0 vote and the House with a 56-3 vote.

“The access to the System is a victory for public health,” said Sen. Amanda Aguirre. “This directory lends to our safety in case of a pandemic when it is necessary for doctors to access information. I would like to thank Rep. Nancy Barto for supporting this amendment to her bill. This is truly the result of bipartisan work to better serve the people of Arizona.”

During the Senate Committee on Healthcare and Medical Liability Reform on June 17, Dr. Bob England, Director, Maricopa County Department of Public Health, testified in favor of the amendment. Dr. England said, “There will be two different flu vaccines available at some point this season: regular, seasonal flu vaccine, and the new vaccine against the novel flu. Confusion on the part of many is inevitable. Novel flu vaccine may also require two shots, so we’ll need a system that crosses particular vaccine providers to be able to tell who has had which vaccine and whether enough time has passed between the two doses for the novel flu.”

The effective date for this legislation is September 30, 2009.

More Coverage:
Law creates new vaccine data system, Adults will be recorded in state's shot registry, Arizona Republic, July 19, 2009

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