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DHEC launches new immunization information system

Staff Report //September 14, 2020//

DHEC launches new immunization information system

Staff Report //September 14, 2020//

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The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control is launching a new immunization information system to help vaccine providers ensure access to essential immunizations.

The Statewide Immunization Online Network, or SIMON, replaces the state’s previous immunization reporting system and will provide a streamlined process for ordering vaccines and to manage inventory of federal and state vaccine programs, according to a news release from DHEC. SIMON will also allow the agency to assess and address statewide immunization coverage rates.

“South Carolina’s transition to SIMON is a monumental upgrade for our state’s immunizations program and the timing of this transition couldn’t be better,” Dr Brannon Traxler, DHEC interim public health director, said in the release. “With COVID-19’s continued prevalence across our state, one of the few things we can do to protect ourselves from this deadly virus is stay as healthy as possible and avoid contracting vaccine-preventable diseases like mumps, measles, chicken pox and whooping cough. SIMON provides immunization providers access to an individual’s comprehensive immunization record.”

During the pandemic, South Carolina has seen a reduction in routine pediatric vaccine orders and administered doses in the past few months, according to the release. SIMON can be used to help providers ensure more children and adults receive immunizations.

SIMON will include patient reminders, a patient portal providing immunization records, real-time vaccine inventory management, vaccine forecasting, geographic coverage rate assessments and a mass vaccination module to allow quick data entry of administered immunizations.

“We are very excited to introduce SIMON to DHEC and the South Carolina immunization provider community,” Stephen White, DHEC director of immunizations, said. “SIMON will place South Carolina in a much better position of utilizing an immunization information system to aid in our state’s future decisions with targeting areas of low immunization coverage rates across the state.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina Foundation and Envision Technology Partners assisted with SIMON’s development, according to DHEC.

DHEC said Friday it is working to develop a COVID-19 vaccination plan.