Lock your CA Immunization Registry Data Today!
With the passing of AB 1797, beginning January 1, 2023, all vaccines administered in California will be required to be entered into the CA Immunization Registry (CAIR). To note: 1) Vaccinations from a different state or country are not input into CAIR, unless your CA medical provider inputs them. 2) CAIR is a separate system from CAIR-ME - the medical vaccine exemption system.
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has also recently added the ability for third parties to download a "roster" of vaccination records. This was something A Voice for Choice Advocacy was concerned may happen with the passing of AB 1979. The bill, now law, referred to performing "immunization status assessments of pupils, adults, and clients". While AVFCA did not know what this referred to at the time, it has now become clear. Third parties that can legally access CAIR information now have the ability to create and save a list of students, clients or patients, and quickly run their vaccination status at any time. This makes it much easier for schools and other entities to check vaccination status on an entire class, school, nursing home, etc. It used to be that they had to look up each person up separately. While this is certainly more efficient for the third parties, it also means that they are likely to check vaccine records more frequently.
A Voice for Choice Advocacy has received a number of emails and messages since our email suggesting you lock your or your child's CAIR data, asking for clarification. AVFCA has also seen other organizations and individuals telling people not to lock their CAIR data because it feeds into government authority. Even though I have personally spent hundreds of hours researching CAIR and have spoken with people that have inside information on the way it communicates with doctors' electronic health records and how and what can be accessed by third parties, and I am probably the most knowledgeable on CAIR in the medical freedom movement, as with everything, this is something that you have to make your own informed decision as to what is best for you and your family. The best AVFCA can do is give you information to Empower You!
To help Empower You and make that decision, AVFCA wants to share an in-depth conversation I had with Rev. Wendy Silvers about AB 1797. It answers a lot of those questions AVFCA has received:
To summarize, the Frequently Asked Questions:
How do I know if I or my child has any records in CAIR? You can request a summary of vaccination records from the CA Department of Public Health. However, this requres you uploading a personal ID. AVFCA does not recommend giving the government any more personal information than they already do, and potentially creating a record for you. You can ask an MD or DO who administers vaccines, or your school nurse/administrator to search CAIR for your records.
If I or my child has not been vaccinated in CA, could there still be record in CAIR? Yes. If your child was born in a CA hospital, in the past 15 years, their information was likely input as a "placeholder". Alternatively, if you or your child have ever had a tuberculosis (Tb) test, the results may have been uploaded to CAIR.
If I or my child has not been vaccinated in California in the past 15+ years should I lock CAIR? It is likely that there are no records beyond personal identification information in CAIR and so AVFCA suggests not doing anything, so as not to raise a flag.
If I lock my or my child's information and there is no data in CAIR will my information be flagged? AVFCA does not have a definitive answer to this, but if you have not been vaccinated for COVID-19 you are likely already flagged. Every COVID-19 vaccination given in California was recorded in CAIR. If CDPH knows who is vaccinated, they also know who is not vaccinated.
Is there any way for vaccination information not to be recorded in CAIR? Per existing CAIR law, under Health & Safety Code §120440, all patients/parents/guardians must be told that California medical providers will submit patient vaccination records and tuberculosis (Tb) test results into CAIR for access by medical care providers and other authorized CAIR users. There is nothing a patient/parent/guardian can do to stop this inputting of data (aka no “opt-in” option). There is also currently no way to fully “opt-out” and completely remove vaccination or Tb information from CAIR. The only option currently available in California is to “lock” your/your child’s CAIR vaccine records. While this will prevent authorized users, such as schools/colleges, licensed childcare facilities, adult care facilities, Foster Care programs, CalWorks and other entities that require vaccine information to participate, from being able to access your/your child’s vaccine information, your/your child’s data will still remain in CAIR and can be accessed by your physician or surgeon and CDPH.
Will vaccines given prior to January 1, 2023 be entered into CAIR? CDPH is encouraging physicians and third party entities to input data that is missing. Currently, some vaccination administrators' electronic health record software programs are set up to communicate with CAIR to upload all vaccination information in a patient’s file. While this is not universal, CDPH’s goal is to make it such.
What is A Voice for Choice Advocacy doing to change this law in CA and what can I do? AVFCA is trying to get a legislator to author a CAIR privacy bill to make CAIR fully “opt-out”, allowing citizens to remove their personal identifying information permanently. Please call your local Assembly member or Senator, and ask then to author such a bill this year.
What is A Voice for Choice Advocacy’s recommendation with locking CAIR? While this is not ideal, A Voice for Choice Advocacy recommends you lock your/your child’s information in CAIR (if you believe there is any information in CAIR), to uphold as much consumer privacy as possible. To lock your or your child’s vaccine information in CAIR, complete this form and click Submit: https://cairforms.cdph.ca.gov/SharingRequestForm/SharingRequestForm?SharingType=1&Language=En It will take 5-7 days for your/your child’s data to be officially locked. You will not receive a confirmation email from CAIR that it has been locked, so AVFCA recommends emailing CAIRHelpDesk@cdph.ca.gov after a week to ask if it has been.