The Illinois Department of Public Health (“DPH”) has adopted rules implementing an immunization data registry by establishing procedures for data collection and use of the registry.

In July 2011, the Illinois General Assembly passed the Immunization Data Registry Act, which provided the DPH with the authority to develop an immunization data registry to collect information regarding immunizations.

The registry contains immunization information for both children and adults, including, but not limited to, the type of immunization, when the immunization was administered, who administered the immunization, religious or medical exemptions, and demographic information. The information is gathered from health care providers for all individuals, unless the individual has “opted out” of the registry.

Illinois public schools may obtain information about their students from the registry if the school has signed a Provider Site Agreement and a Confidentiality Agreement with the DPH. The Confidentiality Agreement places certain parameters on schools including: restricting access to the registry to only those employees who are associated with students’ immunization information; restricting access to the registry for any employee who willfully misuses the registry; stating that the registry will not be used for non-health purposes; and agreeing that the registry information identifying students will not be disclosed to unauthorized individuals.

Additionally, any school employee who will use the registry must sign an Individual User Agreement, which includes a confidentiality statement. The Individual User Agreement states that information obtained from the registry that identifies an individual will not be released without the written consent of that person, or his or her parents if the person is under the age of 18. The Individual User Agreement is to be kept in the employee’s personnel file.

Information obtained through the registry may only be used for specified reasons, such as documenting that a student has received the required immunization for school admission. If the data is knowingly, intentionally, or recklessly disclosed without consent from the student or student’s parents, the person who discloses the information commits a Class A Misdemeanor. 

Contact Lori Martin or Stephanie Jones with questions regarding the impact of the Immunization Registry Code on your school district.