Kuster, Bucshon Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Improve and Build Out Nation's Immunization Infrastructure
Washington, January 28, 2021
Washington, D.C. – Today, Representatives Annie Kuster (D-NH-02) and Larry Bucshon, M.D. (R-IN-08) introduced bipartisan legislation to bolster and quicken our nationwide vaccine rollout. This legislation, the Immunization Infrastructure Modernization Act, would improve and expand information-sharing between state and federal governments, as well as public and private health care providers, to ensure vaccines are being administered effectively and efficiently across all states and territories. While most health departments have a system in place, states lack modern, comprehensive information systems that can meet the challenges of COVID-19 and future public health threats through the secure exchange of real-time data.
“Less than a year after the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in the United States, two safe, effective vaccines were authorized for emergency use – truly an incredible achievement – but we must do more to ensure they are widely and equitably distributed,” said Kuster. “This requires coordinated, strategic leadership from the federal government, and the Biden-Harris administration has demonstrated that they are up for the task. I’m proud to introduce this bipartisan legislation to improve our nation’s immunization information systems and support the administration’s comprehensive plan to get America through the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic has brought with it dark times, from the devastating loss of life to the overwhelming closures of Main Street businesses across the country. Thanks to Operation Warp Speed’s unprecedented development and rollout of two COVID-19 vaccines less than a year after the pandemic began, there is light at the end of the COVID-19 pandemic tunnel,” said Bucshon. “As the vaccine rollout continues, immunization data systems will be a critical tool in the success of this effort, and they are in need of modernization. This legislation will improve, enhance, and expand the ability of Immunization Information Systems to securely exchange real-time immunization record data while securely protecting personal patient information. In order to defeat this virus and fully reopen our economy, we must have a clear and efficient understanding of our localities’ vaccination efforts – and we can only achieve that by modernizing our immunization infrastructure.”
Immunization Information Systems (IIS) are secure, multi-faceted systems that allow for the sharing of crucial information and maintenance of records. These systems can allow providers to keep vaccines and supplies in stock, prevent over – or under – vaccination, remind patients when they are due for a recommended vaccine, and identify areas with low vaccination rates to ensure equitable distribution of vaccines.
The Immunization Infrastructure Modernization Act authorizes funding to: