Unfortunately S676A and H5541A passed both the full Senate and the full House and now are heading to the Governor.
Current Rhode Island law gives the Rhode Island Department of Health the authority to track children’s the immunization status, but this new law would expand the tracking to include everyone, both children and adults.
The law would not require that people be notified that their information is being entered into the system, nor that they consent to it. People could opt-out by contacting the health department – but if they don’t even know that they are being tracked or that they have that option, this is little protection.
Once the health department collects your information, they are legally allowed to disclose your information for “public health surveillance, investigations and interventions” without your consent.
Information in this registry could possibly be used in the future to deny privileges like air travel, employment, or even professional or automobile licensing. This is not that unlikely considering that children are being denied education if they do not receive every government mandated vaccine.
All Rhode Island residents who want to protect privacy and freedom in vaccine choices need to act now!
Call or email Governor Gina M. Raimondo and politely ask her to VETO S676A/H5541A. http://www.governor.ri.gov/contact/
Keep your call or email short! Pick the 2 or 3 talking points that are most important to you and be sure to explain why this issue matters to you personally.
- Sharing people’s personal medical information without their consent or even knowledge is a violation of privacy. The current vaccine tracking system, KINDSET, states “KINDSET is not a covered entity under HIPPA and may disclose information to authorized users in accordance with state and federal law.” It’s bad enough that this already is happening to children – we don’t need to expand it to adults.
- Since there is no requirement to notify people that their information is being entered into the system, nor that they have any choice in the matter, many people won’t even know that they could take the affirmative step of contacting the health department to opt out. An opt-in approach is more consistent with the principle of informed consent.
- There are concerns that information provided in vaccine registries could be used to refuse services such as school, insurance, or employment in the future.
- Supporters of vaccine tracking systems claim they are a way to protect patients by guaranteeing patients don’t receive multiple doses of the same vaccinations by different providers. According to CDC’s own statements, though, it’s clear that one purpose of these registries is to create pressure on people who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated.
- CDC openly stated that vaccine registries are a tool to identify areas of “undervaccination” so they can be “addressed” and brought into “compliance.” https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6133a2.htm
- Using Immunization Information Systems costs states millions of dollars. The money spent on vaccine tracking systems would be better spent to improve Rhode Island’s public health system in other ways.