Santa Fe – Gov. Susana Martinez says new immunization requirements can help keep New Mexicans healthier – especially small children and seniors who are particularly prone to infectious diseases.
Senate Bill 58, which takes effect July 1, makes it mandatory for all health care providers to report all immunizations to the New Mexico Statewide Immunization Information System (NMSIIS.)
“This change will allow the Department of Health to better track and evaluate vaccination coverage and monitor disease outbreaks and disease coverage levels at a local level,” Martinez said. “A properly immunized population is better protected from outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases.”
Immunization reporting to the Statewide Immunization Information System for young children 19 to 35 months old is about 93 percent. Reporting drops off as children get older. Only about 51 percent of adolescents 13 to 17 years of age have two or more immunizations recorded in the system. Among adults over the age of 19, only about 26 percent have one or more immunizations recorded in the system. For adults 50 years and older the percentage drops to about 20 percent.
Low reporting of adolescent and adult vaccinations can have a significant impact on public health. For example, pertussis (whooping cough) is generally spread by adolescents and adults whose immunity has waned due to lack of booster shots. Pertussis booster shots are recommended every 10 years, yet most adults don’t receive them as recommended. Additionally, older adults who are susceptible to influenza and pneumonia may get confused when they had their last influenza or pneumonia vaccination leading to over or under immunization.
The Department of Health and the NMSIIS Program launched statewide NMSIIS Training classes throughout New Mexico in May. The classes take a couple hours. Anyone entering the information into NMSIIS is required to take the training. NMSIIS classes and site-based trainings can be arranged through the DOH Helpdesk. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Find more information about trainings at immunizenm.org.
Sen. Sue Wilson Beffort sponsored SB 58.