Federal vaccine database bill passes in the House of Representatives

H.R. 550, or the “Immunization Infrastructure Modernization Act of 2021” is an act that would “amend the Public Health Service Act with respect to immunization system data modernization and expansion, and for other purposes.”


If passed by the Senate, the bill would grant the federal government $400 million to fund a database that would track and record when vaccines have been administered in the U.S. 

The bill says it would expand the” CDC and public health department capabilities.”

The “Secretary” would “conduct activities to expand, enhance, and improve immunization information systems that are administered by health departments or other agencies of State, local, Tribal, and territorial governments and used by health care providers;” and “award grants or cooperative agreements to the health departments, or such other governmental entities as administer immunization information systems, of State, local, Tribal, and territorial governments, for the expansion, enhancement, and improvement of immunization information systems to assist public health departments”.

The bill’s author, Ann McLane Kuster (D-NH) said in a press release that she introduced the bill “to bolster our nation’s vaccine infrastructure in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

In addition, Representative Kuster said that the bill “will improve and expand information-sharing between state and federal governments, as well as public and private health care providers, to ensure vaccines are being administered effectively and efficiently across all states and territories.”

“COVID-19 pulled back the curtain on our vaccination systems and highlighted the urgent need for upgrades. I’m proud the House passed my bipartisan Immunization Infrastructure Modernization Act to expand the enrollment and training of vaccine providers, update public health information technology to efficiently manage vaccine supply, and allow patients and providers to communicate securely in real-time. I urge the Senate to quickly pass this legislation and invest in our health care future.”

Representative Kuster added that “These systems can allow providers to keep vaccines and supplies in stock, prevent over – or under – vaccination, remind patients when they are due for a recommended vaccine, and identify areas with low vaccination rates to ensure equitable distribution of vaccines.”

The act passed the U.S. House of Representatives on November 30, 2021, with 294 ‘Yeas’ and 130 ‘Nays’. 

80 Republicans and 214 Democrats voted to pass the bill in the House and send it to the Senate.

0 Democrats voted against the bill, while 6 Democrats did not vote. Alternatively, 130 Republicans voted against the bill and 3 Republicans did not vote.

Notably, Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) and Mike Pence’s brother Greg Pence (R-IN) voted to pass the bill.

Steve Scalise (R-LA) was one of the three Republicans that did not vote on the bill. However, Representative Scalise did vote that same day for another bill (H.R. 4026).

In a statement after the vote, Jefferson Van Drew (R-NJ) said, “This bill is another attempt by House Democrats to extend their government overreach by tracking unvaccinated individuals and recording personal health decisions made by the American people,”

 “There is no reason that $400 million in taxpayer dollars should be used to fund a program that creates a database to store citizens private medical information regarding vaccination status. This majority in Congress is doing everything in their power to seize control of Americans and exert federal control in every aspect of our daily lives. We see time and time again Democrats wasting taxpayer dollars on legislation like this; instead, they should be focused on issues affecting every American, like soaring gas prices, rapid inflation, the supply chain crisis, and the labor shortage. As legislators, we should be ensuring Americans are able to put food on the table and that shelves are stocked for the holidays, not spending more money to create an unnecessary and useless program.” 

The full bill can be read below:

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