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February05

Immunization bill inches closer to Gov’s desk

A bill that would align state law with HIPAA regulations in order for schools and other entities to continue to access child immunization records is one step away from full endorsement by the legislature.

 

House Bill 1059 passed the Senate Health and Human Services committee on a 4-2 vote on Wednesday, leaving it only the Senate chamber to clear.

 

The bill was introduced at the behest of the state’s Department of Health to allow schools and other entities to access immunization records in the event a parent or guardian would not have them readily available.

 

S.D. Dept. of Health Division Director Colleen Winter said HB 1059 provides schools and other entities with “timely access to updated immunization records” and noted an amendment passed in the House requires healthcare providers to verbally inform parents and guardians they opt-out of sharing their child’s records in the system, thus quelling concerns from previous opponents of the bill.

 

It was noted in the House that in the 18-years the DOH immunization system has been operational fewer than 200 people have opted not to share their children’s immunization records.

 

“Public health is a clearly a big part of public welfare,” Sen. Craig Tieszen said. “We need to enable our government to act in the best interest of the public…this bill does that.”

 

ASBSD is monitoring the bill.

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