Vaccine Registry Finds Wide Support

Source: Boston Globe

By: Lazar, Kay


The Massachusetts Association of Health Plans (MAHP) says insurers will likely support state legislation that would assess a fee on health insurance plans in order to pay for a state vaccine registry. Last year, state lawmakers approved legislation to establish a registry, but the measure contained no funds to operate the system. The Department of Public Health has used federal funds to develop and launch a pilot registry this year. Eight healthcare providers are continuing to test the registry as the pilot phase runs through the end of 2011, and statewide roll-out is anticipated in 2012. Although the MAHP wants to see a few changes in the legislation, spokesman Eric Linzer says, “We see value and importance in vaccines, and the registry.” Healthcare providers say a centralized registry is essential because it would allow the state to track who gets vaccinated and make it possible to notify parents when their children are due for vaccines. Public health officials want to use the registry for targeted education campaigns and other programs to promote vaccination in underserved areas.