COVID-19 Vaccine Providers Ordered to Request to Patient Contact Information

Late last week, California Department of Public Health Director and State Public Health Officer Dr. Tomás Aragón issued an order requiring all COVID-19 vaccination providers to request patients’ mobile phone numbers and email addresses for entry into the California Immunization Registry (CAIR), including the San Diego Immunization Registry (SDIR) and the Healthy Futures/Regional Immunization Data Exchange (RIDE). To order is intended to assist residents access their Digital COVID-19 Vaccine Record (DCVR) from the state.

According to CDPH, not all vaccine providers are requesting a patient’s contact information before administering a COVID-19 vaccine. When health care providers then report COVID-19 vaccination information to CAIR without a patient’s contact information, the vaccine recipient is unable to access their DCVR in a timely manner and must undergo a reconciliation process with CDPH.

CDPH notes requiring providers to request contact information will support increased access to residents’ vaccine records, as well as provide for the ability to distribute tailored notification reminders about second doses needed to complete the COVID-19 vaccination series or booster doses that may be recommended for certain populations. CDPH, in its order, indicates all patient data collected in connection with vaccination and reported to CAIR is subject to stringent confidentiality protections.

Under the order, if a patient chooses not to provide their mobile phone number or email address when verbally requested by a provider, the provider must inform the individual of specified information, including that not providing the information may make it difficult for them to access their DCVR. Individuals are not required to provide their contact information and should still receive the COVID-19 vaccine even if they decline to provide the information.

The full state public health officer order is available here.