New Hampshire board accepts funding for vaccination database

December 19, 2019 GMT

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — The New Hampshire Executive Council voted to accept a $1.5 million federal grant in order to create an “immunization information system.” New Hampshire is the only state that doesn’t have a vaccination database, said Lisa Morris, the director of the state’s Division of Public Health Services.

“We need a working registry because immunizations save lives,” Morris said. “And so we want to make sure that providers and individuals and families have the information they need to keep up to date on their immunizations.”

Councilors voted unanimously Wednesday, the Concord Monitor reported. But the vote followed a contentious discussion in which councilors criticized the state’s Department of Health and Human Services for a $1.3 million contract in 2014 for an immunization registry that didn’t become fully operational.

The grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will allow the state to gather data to improve vaccination rates, according to a document from the state’s Department of Health and Human Services. State officials still have to negotiate with vendor Envision Technology Partners, and the Executive Council will have to sign off on a contract proposal.

Activists, many of whom are opposed to a registry of vaccine users, had signs protesting how the government handled the project in the past, the newspaper reported.