BOISE — Idaho Republicans want the state to no longer collect adults’ vaccine records and to destroy any information they have collected, potentially putting in jeopardy state officials’ efforts to track progress on administering COVID-19 vaccines.
GOP legislative leaders on Friday accused the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare of violating Idaho law by collecting adult records on immunization status. They called on state officials to immediately stop collecting information and destroy any registration information held by the department.
“This practice goes beyond simple regulatory overreach. This has the potential to be an abuse of the people’s trust,” House Speaker Scott Bedke, R-Oakley, said in a news release. “We believe Department of Health and Welfare has no statutory authority to collect immunization data on Idaho adults.”
In a letter, Bedke urged Attorney General Lawrence Wasden to direct the department to stop its collection efforts. All eight GOP leaders on the House and Senate signed the letter. Bedke and Majority Caucus Chair Megan Blanksma, R-Hammett, did not respond to a question about whether they want the department to stop collecting records on COVID-19 vaccines.
Department of Health and Welfare Director Dave Jeppesen said state officials have followed the law.
“I am confident the Department of Health and Welfare has complied with state and federal law for many years and currently is in compliance with regard to collecting adult and children’s immunization data,” Jeppesen said in a released statement Friday. “In fact, we have worked closely for many years with the office of the Idaho attorney general on this issue, and we look forward to their opinion on the matter.”