The Adult Vaccine Access Coalition (AVAC) commends the House Committee on Energy and Commerce for reporting out H.R. 550 the Immunization Infrastructure Modernization Act today. We thank Representatives Kuster and Bucshon for their leadership in spearheading this important legislation and the work of all the members of the Committee to advance the bill to the full House of Representatives.
Immunizations are essential to protecting individuals across the life course from vaccine-preventable diseases and outbreaks. The ability to exchange immunization information across multiple jurisdictions has the ability to improve immunization rates, saving lives and dollars. Immunization Information Systems (IIS) are an essential tool for achieving this, informing providers of the vaccines a patient needs and when they need them. During past pandemics and natural disasters, IIS have been able to respond to the unique and pressing issues that these public health emergencies present for affected communities. However, we have learned from recent COVID-19 vaccination efforts, IIS capabilities vary across states.
H.R. 550, the Immunization Infrastructure Modernization Act, provides the framework for IIS modernization and enhancements and provides a desperately needed “shot in the arm” to successfully meet existing federal health goals as well as potential future disease outbreaks, epidemics or pandemics. This legislation supports Health departments and health care providers at the state and local level to strengthen IIS, and the health care information framework, enabling a successful response to a future pandemic vaccine, as well as managing “routine” immunization efforts and outbreaks of other vaccine preventable diseases, which could be happening simultaneously.
Streamlining data collection capabilities across states and localities to facilitate the secure and confidential sharing of immunization record data across IIS’ jurisdictions will reduce immunization gaps, empower providers, and integrate immunization data into 21st-century health systems.
We look forward to supporting H.R. 550 as it moves to the full House for consideration.