The New Jersey Immunization Information System (NJIIS) is an online database which can be accessed currently by school nurses, medical office administrators, public health nurses, and hospitals. On December 4, 2020, Governor Murphy signed Executive Order 207 that automatically opted-in all adult New Jersey recipients of the COVID-19 shot to the New Jersey Immunization Information System (NJIIS). This registry now tracks all those who received the COVID-19 shot.
Bill S3240, sponsored by Senator Joseph Vitale, “requires automatic registration with New Jersey Immunization Information System (NJIIS) upon administration of vaccines for certain persons who consent to registration.” But a system which automates compliance only implies consent, it does not ask for it. A resident or parent must know the system is being used to opt out, but there is no requirement for those disclosures. The bill states “the registry shall be designed to serve as a single repository of immunization records to aid, coordinate, and help promote effective and cost-efficient disease screening, prevention, and control efforts in the state.”
Bill S3240 states that “any person not currently enrolled in the registry shall be enrolled at the time the person is administered an immunization, unless the person or the person’s parent or legal guardian, in the case of a person who is younger than 18 years of age, provides a written request to not participate in the registry.”
Bill S3240 requires the adult registry to be an opt-out only system where the consent for your vaccination status to be tracked by the government and have immunization reminders sent to you is assumed. Your confidential medical records could be shared across systems with differing security protections and stored in various databases automatically, not only without your consent, but oftentimes even without your knowledge.
As per bill S3240, information in the registry is accessible to “health care providers, schools, colleges, licensed child care centers, and public agencies, and private organizations as determined by regulation of the commissioner.”
Bill S3240 claims that the information contained in the registry shall be used for the following purposes:
- To ensure that registrants receive all recommended immunizations in a timely manner by providing access to the registrants’ immunization records
- To help improve immunization rates by providing notice to registrants of overdue or upcoming immunizations
- To help control communicable diseases by assisting in the identification of persons who require immediate immunization in the event of a vaccine-preventable disease outbreak.
At minimum, S3240 should be an OPT-IN for adults to consent to participation in the NJIIS. As written, bill S3240 would allow for private information to be put into a database without prior written consent. Consent should always be obtained and never assumed.
Is your child being tracked in the NJIIS system? Request a copy of your or your child’s NJIIS IMMUNIZATION RECORD to determine whether you or your child is in the system.
To withdraw your child(ren) from the NJIIS system: