Inter-Departmental Correspondence

Health Services Agency



November 21, 2003


December 16, 2003



Honorable Board of Supervisors


Margaret Taylor, Director of Health Services

Brian Zamora, Director of Public Health and Environmental Protection


Agreement with the State Department of Health Services for Immunization Registry



Adopt a resolution authorizing the President of the Board to execute an agreement with the State Department of Health Services for the Immunization Registry



An immunization registry is a confidential, computerized information system designed to effectively increase vaccine coverage, meet the needs of a mobile population, and assist providers, parents and public health departments in solving immunization-related issues. It is widely recognized in the U.S. that immunization registries are paramount in maintaining high immunization rates and low disease levels. Research has indicated that immunization registries are cost effective and produce significant cost savings once implemented. The California Department of Health Services (DHS) supports regional registries to help reach this goal. San Mateo County is one of eight jurisdictions that participates in the Bay Area Regional Registry (BARR) Consortium.



Thus far, funding for the immunization registry has supported a 20% time Health Educator who serves as Registry Coordinator; a technical consultant who researched and prepared a feasibility report; and costs associated with four quarterly meetings with the Immunization Registry Advisory Board.


The feasibility report revealed two major barriers to the implementation of the registry in the County. The most significant issue is the inability to easily integrate the California Automated Immunization Registry (CAIR) software into the existing Health Services CORE system. A second issue is that the CAIR software does not have the ability to check for duplicate entries in the database. These two problems combined have resulted in reluctance on the part of potential users to participate in the registry until these technical issues can be resolved.


Plans for FY 2003-04 include developing an interface with CORE to allow data entry of the immunization information into existing client records; working with the San Mateo Medical Center to include the County clinics in the registry; training County personnel to use the registry; and hiring data entry personnel if necessary. Other related activities are the development of a provider MOU; working with BARR to assure that county and regional help desk functions are adequate; and conducting outreach to the private sector providers to promote their participation in the registry.


Vision Alignment

The agreement with the State Department of Health Services keeps the commitment of ensuring basic health and safety for all and goal number 23: Leaders throughout the County provide the impetus for broader regional solutions in land use, housing, childcare, education, health and transportation. The agreement with the State Department of Health Services contributes to this commitment and goal by providing for a regional immunization registry, which will help ensure that children throughout the Bay Area receive complete immunizations in a timely manner.


Fiscal Impact

The total amount of the agreement with the State Department of Health Services is $31,686 for the term of July 1, 2003 through June 30, 2004. The adopted FY 2003-04 budget for Public Health includes $31,686. There is no net County cost for the program.