The advisory panel includes three subgroups: allocation, communication and science.
State officials say the release of school-level immunization data won’t happen before Oct. 21.
State officials say the release of school-level immunization data won’t happen before Oct. 21.

Lawyers for the state say the release of school-by-school immunization rates won’t happen until October.

After overruling his public health commissioner this week, Gov. Ned Lamont pledged to make public the most recent round of school-level vaccination data, from the 2018-19 academic year. But he did not disclose when that information would be released.

Earlier in the week, state Health Commissioner Renee Coleman-Mitchell told the CT Mirror that she would not publish the information, as she had in May for 2017-18 school year. Her remarks came after a Bristol couple sued the state to block the release of the 2018-19 data, saying it posed an invasion of privacy, even though no children’s names are included.

After Lamont promised to publicize the school-level figures, the couple, Brian and Kristen Festa, filed a motion for a temporary injunction. Late Thursday, Superior Court Judge Susan Quinn Cobb made no ruling on the motion, but noted in legal documents that “the state assured plaintiffs’ counsel and the court that it had no plans to release school-specific immunization data … before Oct. 21, 2019.”

Max Reiss, a spokesman for Lamont, said Friday that school officials have until Sept. 6 to report immunization data to the health department. After that, the health department will process and sort the data, which is expected to take weeks.

State officials estimate the process won’t be complete until after Oct. 21, he said. The health department is also set to release county-level vaccination data in October.

In the meantime, the state on Thursday disclosed broad immunization data showing a 25 percent increase in the number of kindergarten students claiming the religious exemption. The figures also showed a drop in the percentage of kindergarteners who are being vaccinated against measles, mumps and rubella – to 95.9 percent, down from 96.5 percent.

Following the disclosure, a spokesman for Lamont said the governor “remains open to future policy discussions that could potentially lead to possible revisions to the state’s religious exemptions for immunizations.”

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Jenna CarlessoHealth Reporter

Jenna is CT Mirror’s Health Reporter, focusing on health access, affordability, quality, equity and disparities, social determinants of health, health system planning, infrastructure, processes, information systems, and other health policy. Before joining CT Mirror Jenna was a reporter at The Hartford Courant for 10 years, where she consistently won statewide and regional awards. Jenna has a Master of Science degree in Interactive Media from Quinnipiac University and a Bachelor or Arts degree in Journalism from Grand Valley State University.

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Kathleen Megan wrote for more than three decades for the Hartford Courant, covering education in recent years and winning many regional and national awards. She is now covering education and child welfare issues for the Mirror.

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2 Comments

  1. Release the data. It is in the public’s interest to know this information. Sometimes the need of the many outweigh the needs of the few. This is one of those times. Who would have thought measles would be make a comeback? This disease was eradicated long ago. The days of purposely infecting your child to get them done and over with has long past.

  2. The only “religion” here is selfishness of the parents which could harm people with actual health issues. And the anti-vax “research” was disproven years ago. Our feckless legislators need to eliminate the religious exemption and raise the bar for the medical one.

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