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Alabama warns health providers about unlawful use of vaccination registry

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall has issued a warning to employers who may try to use a...
Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall has issued a warning to employers who may try to use a state system to determine an employee’s COVID-19 vaccination status.(WCAX)
Published: Sep. 8, 2021 at 12:41 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall has issued a warning to employers who may try to use a state system to determine an employee’s COVID-19 vaccination status.

According to AG Steve Marshall, his office received complaints from healthcare employees who believed their COVID-19 immunization status was obtained by their employers using the state vaccination registry, known as ImmPRINT.

“In several of those cases, a shared employer specifically acknowledged accessing the state immunization database for this purpose,” Marshall said. “This privacy violation is unlawful.”

ImmPRINT is a state-maintained immunization registry for healthcare providers that helps avoid unnecessary vaccinations for patients and provides the state with patient demographic data, according to the AG’s office. The data contained in this registry is confidential, with few permitted uses.

Marshall says the AG’s office sent a formal demand to the employer involved in the complaint to cease and desist. He did not identify the alleged offender.

“If the violation or failure or refusal to obey or comply with such rule or regulation is a continuing one, each day’s violation will constitute a separate offense,” Marshall added.

The Alabama Department of Public Health has also warned that it is inappropriate for any employer to use the ImmPRINT system to verify the COVID-19 vaccination status of an employee. ADPH said using the immunization registry in that manner will result in immediate termination of database access.

The AG’s office said its statement “merely reflects the Office’s interpretation of relevant state law,” and noted it does not dispute the seriousness of the pandemic in Alabama.

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