Mandates reporting of race and ethnicity to vaccine tracking system and assessments by schools/county human services, mandates reporting of all ages

State: CA
Bill Number: AB 1797
Position: OPPOSE
Action Required: NONE
Status: Enacted, signed by Governor on 9/27/2022, effective 1/1/2023

Legislation Details:

UPDATE: 9/27/2022 - AB 1797 was signed by the Governor, and has an effective date of 1/1/2023. 

The final version of the bill amends current law, California Health and Safety Code Sec. 120440, governing the California Immunization Registry (CAIR). 

Current law, California Health and Safety Code Sec. 120440(c) states health care providers, and other agencies, including, but not limited to, schools, child care facilities, service providers for the California Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), health care plans, foster care agencies, and county welfare departments, may disclose a list of 10 data points from patient's or client's medical records with  local health departments operating countywide or regional immunization information and reminder systems and the State Department of Public Health.  The bill changes may to "shall", mandating the reporting of this information.  The bill also adds race and ethnicity to the list of data points that must be reported. 

The bill also requires childcare facilities, family childcare homes, and county human service agencies to perform immunization status assessments during the COVID-19 public health emergency. School immunization status assessments only apply when the school has a COVID-19 vaccine mandate. In this case, the school's use of the data from the assessment may only be used to verify COVID-19 vaccination status. These specific provisions only apply through January 1st, 2026. 

UPDATE: 9/12/2022 - AB 1797 was enrolled and presented to the Governor at 4:00 PM. 

UPDATE: 8/30/2022 - The Assembly concurred with the Senate amendment to AB 1797 on 8/30/2022 in a 57-20-3 vote. The bill was sent to enrolling and engrossing and then will go to the governor. 

UPDATE: 8/29/2022 - AB 1797 passed the Senate in a 29-9-2 vote and ordered to the Assembly for concurrence with the Senate race and ethnicity amendment. 

UPDATE: 8/18/2022 - AB 1797 underwent second reading and ordered to third reading in the Senate.

UPDATE: 8/17/2022 - AB 1797 was amended on third reading to mandate the reporting of both race and ethnicity to the vaccine tracking system, instead of race or ethnicity. The bill has been ordered to second reading again.  

To reflect this amendment, NVIC Advocacy has changed the title of this bill from "Mandates reporting of race/ethnicity to vaccine tracking system and assessments by schools/county human services, mandates reporting of all ages" to "Mandates reporting of race and ethnicity to vaccine tracking system and assessments by schools/county human services, mandates reporting of all ages."

UPDATE: 8/11/2022 - AB 1797 passed the Senate Appropriations Committee in a 5-2 vote, underwent second reading, and has been ordered to third reading in the Senate.

UPDATE: 8/6/2022 - AB 1797 is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Appropriations Committee on 8/11/2022. 

UPDATE: 8/1/2022 - AB 1797 was referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee Suspense File. Bills with a fiscal impact of $50,000 or more to the General Fund or $150,000 or more to special fund are referred to the Suspense File by the Committee following testimony at a regular hearing, and they may be voted out later on. Click here for more information about the Suspense File.

UPDATE:  7/7/2022 -  AB 1797 is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Appropriations Committee on Monday, August 1st in Room 2200 at 1021 O Street at 10:00 AM. The full agenda for this meeting will be posted here on Friday, July 29th.

UPDATE: 6/30/2022 - AB 1797 passed the Senate Education Committee in a 5-2 vote and referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

UPDATE: 6/24/2022 - AB 1797 is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Education Committee on Thursday, June 30th in Room 2100 at 1021 O Street upon adjournment of SessionClick here to see the hearing agenda.  

UPDATE: 6/23/2022 - AB 1797 passed the Senate Health Committee in an 8-2 vote, with 2 votes not recorded.

UPDATE: 6/10/2022 - AB 1797 is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Health Committee on Wednesday, June 22nd, at 1:30 PM at 1021 O Street, Room 2100Click here to see the hearing agenda. 

You may submit position letters to the Committee in opposition to AB 1797. The position letter submission deadline for this hearing is 3:00 PM on Wednesday, June 15th.

Click here to register for an account with the California Legislature Position Letter Portal. Please see talking points you may use for your letter below, and personalize them to share how this bill affects you and your family. 

Click here to visit the committee page and submit a position letter using the link provided. 

Click here to see additional tips on submitting your position letter to the committee.


UPDATE: 6/9/2022 - The referral of AB 1797 to the Senate Judiciary Committee rescinded.

UPDATE: 6/8/2022 - AB 1797 referred to the Senate Health, Education, and Judiciary Committees. 

UPDATE: 5/26/2022 - AB 1797 passed the Assembly in a 54-20 vote

UPDATE: 5/19/2020 - AB 1797 passed the Assembly Appropriations Committee in a 12-4 vote and ordered to third reading.

UPDATE:  5/14/2022 - AB 1797 is scheduled for a hearing in the Assembly Appropriations Committee on Thursday, May 19th, upon adjournment of session at 1021 O Street, Room 1100. Agenda - https://apro.assembly.ca.gov/hearings

UPDATE:  5/6/2022 - AB 1797  is scheduled for a hearing in the Assembly Appropriations Committee on Wednesday, May 11th at 9:00 AM in 1021 O Street, Room 1100. Agenda - https://apro.assembly.ca.gov/hearings

Submit written testimony before the hearing to the Assembly Appropriations Committee in opposition to AB 1797. The hearing is on Wednesday, May 11th at 9:00 AM. Click here to visit the committee homepage and click on the button that says "Submit Position Email," or submit your written testimony at the following email address: approps.committee@assembly.ca.gov

UPDATE: 4/27/2022 - AB 1797 passed and was amended by the Assembly Education Committee and referred to the Assembly Appropriations Committee. The amended version of the bill states that the immunization status assessments apply only to the COVID-19 public health emergency, and that school immunization status assessments only apply when the school has a COVID-19 vaccine mandate. In this case, the school's use of the data from the assessment may only be used to verify COVID-19 vaccination status. These provisions would only apply through January 1st, 2026. 

UPDATE: 4/27/2022 - AB 1797 is scheduled for a hearing in the Assembly Education Committee on 4/27/2022 at 1:30 PM after passing the Assembly Health Committee on 4/26/2022 by a vote of 10 yes, 3 no and 2 not voting.  Agenda - https://aedn.assembly.ca.gov/hearings 

UPDATE:  4/23/2022 - Pending re-referral of the bill, AB 1797 is also scheduled for a hearing in the Assembly Education Committee on Wednesday, April 27th at 1:30 PM at 1021 O Street, Room 1100. Agenda - https://aedn.assembly.ca.gov/hearings

UPDATE:  4/21/2022 - AB 1797 is scheduled for a hearing in the Assembly Health Committee on Tuesday, April 26th at 1:00 PM at 1021 O Street, Room 1100. Agenda - https://ahea.assembly.ca.gov/hearings  If the bill passes the Assembly Health Committee on 4/26/2022, it will be heard in the Assembly Education Committee on 4/27/2022 at 1:30 PM at 1021 O Street, Room 1100. Agenda - https://aedn.assembly.ca.gov/hearings 

UPDATE:  4/20/2022 - AB 1797 was not heard in the hearing on 4/19/2022. It may still be scheduled for a future hearing. 

UPDATE:  3/31/2022 - AB 1797 is scheduled for a hearing in the Assembly Committee on Health on Tuesday, April 19th, at 1:30 PM at 1021 O Street, Room 1100. Agenda - https://ahea.assembly.ca.gov/hearings

Position letters are due Wednesday, April 13th by 12:00 PM.

UPDATE: 3/28/2022 - AB 1797 re-referred to Assembly Committee on Health.

UPDATE: 3/25/2022 - AB 1797 was referred to the Assembly Committees on Health and Education on 3/24/2022.   The Assembly Committee on Health meets on Tuesdays at 1:30 p,m. Position letters are due the Wednesday before the hearing by noon.  The Assembly Committee on Education meets on Wednesdays at 1:30 p.m. Position letters are due on Tuesday the week before the hearing by 5 p.m.  

This bill would amend current law, California Health and Safety Code Sec. 120440, governing the California Immunization Registry (CAIR). 

Current law, California Health and Safety Code Sec. 120440(c) states health care providers, and other agencies, including, but not limited to, schools, child care facilities, service providers for the California Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), health care plans, foster care agencies, and county welfare departments, may disclose a list of 10 data points from patient's or client's medical records with  local health departments operating countywide or regional immunization information and reminder systems and the State Department of Public Health.  The bill changes may to "shall", mandating the reporting of this information.  The bill also adds race or ethnicity to the list of data points that must be reported. 

The bill also requires schools, childcare facilities, family childcare homes, and county human services agencies, in the event of a public health emergency, to perform immunization status assessments of pupils, adults, and clients to ensure health and safety.

Patients or patient's parents or guardians can only ask that personal information in the immunization registry not be shared, or request their information be locked.  Even if a patient or parent asks to have their information in CAIR locked, the local health department and the State Department of Public Health may maintain access to this information for the purpose of protecting public health. 

It's important to know that this vaccine registry/tracking system CAIR retains your information for life, it is never purged. 

AB 1797 was introduced on 2/7/2022 and is sponsored by Assembly Members WeberLow and Wicks and Senators Pan Newman and Wiener.

News article about the intentions of the bill - https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/education/story/2022-02-04/san-diego-leaders-educators-unveil-new-legislation-to-update-vaccination-registry 

https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=202120220AB1797 - text, status and history for AB 1797