The Bristol couple who filed a lawsuit against the state in May to stop the Department of Public Health from sharing new school-level immunization rates is seeking an emergency order to prevent the release of the information.
The motion filed in Hartford Superior Court today comes less than 24 hours after Gov. Ned Lamont said he planned to release the 2018-19 school-by-school immunization rates over the objections of his Public Health Commissioner, Renee Coleman-Mitchell.
Lamont overruled Coleman-Mitchell’s decision not to release the information late Wednesday afternoon.
In Meriden Thursday, Gov. Ned Lamont said one of his “prime responsibilities” as governor is public health.
He said he wants to make sure parents know the state is doing everything it can to prevent the potential of the spread of disease and improve health.
“We working on terms of what are the appropriate vaccines so we don’t overdo it, and what communities do we need to pay special bit of attention to,” Lamont said.
Asked if Coleman-Mitchell was now in favor of releasing the data, “We’re absolutely on the same page,” the governor said.
“We want to give parents confidence their school system is safe,” he added.
It’s still unclear when the school-by-school immunization rates will be released, but Coleman-Mitchell said Wednesday afternoon that the statewide data on immunizations and religious exemptions was “forthcoming.”
Lamont said he was also open to exploring how many vaccinations children receive.
“There are an awful lot of vaccinations,” Lamont said.
He said it’s “probably true” that there are too many, but he admitted that he doesn’t really know.
LeeAnn Ducat, founder of Informed Choice CT, believes Lamont’s comment to be an “olive branch to open up some meaningful dialogue,” on the issue.
Meanwhile, Kristen and Brian Festa of Bristol said the release of the data would be harmful.
“I will suffer irreparable harm upon the release of the information of those choosing to be exempt from the vaccination requirement in that publication of this information by the State creates a link that can be accessed by the public,” Kristen Festa said in court documents. “Once information summarizing my confidential medical information is published, the public can download this information and keep a permanent record regarding my confidential medical information.”
State Rep. Cara Pavalock-D’Amato, who is the attorney representing the Festas in their lawsuit against the state, did not return requests for comment.
A spokeswoman from the Attorney General’s office said Wednesday that they still plan to move forward with their motion to dismiss. The next court filing isn’t expected until Sept. 4. The case was delayed while the assistant attorney general representing the state took a few days off.