What Is ImmuNet?
ImmuNet is the name of the vaccine tracking system in Maryland. Many states have these systems, but they often go by other names. ImmuNet came to Maryland in 2004. It was voluntary until 2013, when legislators passed reporting requirements for certain physicians.
A bill, HB0316, aimed to amend and reenact pre-existing ImmuNet law. This bill was sponsored by Delegates Kelly, Pendergrass, Pena-Melnyk, Bagnall, Lewis, and Young. It passed with a 139-0 vote in the House and a 47-0 vote in the Senate. It was signed by Governor Hogan on May 13, 2019. It will be enacted as the updated ImmuNet law starting October 1, 2019.
You can read it here: http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/2019RS/Chapters_noln/CH_502_hb0316t.pdf
**IMPORTANT: The existing rules for the newest ImmuNet law have been in use by Maryland physicians since at least early 2018. Most physicians in the state were told to start recording this information by February of 2018.
What Information Is Recorded?
In short, personally identifying information, which vaccines the patient received and when. While the law does not stipulate that every vaccine refused be recorded, the absence of those that are refused speaks for itself. In addition, we have spoken with healthcare providers and confirmed they have been instructed and even pressured to include that information.
Who Has Access To This Information?
A child care facility
A health care provider
A health insurer
A health maintenance organization
An institution of higher learning
A local health department
A long–term care facility
A managed care organization
A nonprofit health service plan
A school–based health center
In the case of a minor child, a parent or guardian
Any other user designated by the Secretary
How Can You Opt Out?
*Please understand opting out does not delete data. The data is stored and government access to it is still allowed, but it will no longer be shared beyond those entities. Opting out also won’t retract data that has been previously shared with others who had access to it beforehand.
**We have been told by healthcare providers to remind every doctor you see that you are opting out and do not want patient information to be submitted to ImmuNet.
***Remember, you must also opt out of this at the time of birth (home birth does not apply as no vaccines are given then).
You can opt out of ImmuNet by completing this form: https://phpa.health.maryland.gov/OIDEOR/IMMUN/Pages/optout.aspx
How Can You Get A Copy Of Your Records From ImmuNet?
Complete this form: https://phpa.health.maryland.gov/OIDEOR/IMMUN/Pages/rrf.aspx
**Be cautious about signing electronic signature pads. Medical provider offices often include approval for these programs in the paperwork they aren’t showing you for these signatures unless requested.
If you see providers in other states, you will need to research their tracking systems and determine how to opt out elsewhere. This only counts for providers in the state of Maryland.