The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has confirmed that new medical codes introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic are being used to track people’s vaccination status, according to a report from The Epoch Times.
The codes are part of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) system and were added in 2022 “to track people who are not immunized or only partially immunized.”
The CDC had previously stated that the goal of these codes was to help healthcare providers track patients’ vaccination status, but in emails obtained by The Epoch Times through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, the CDC confirmed that healthcare systems have been using the codes to track individuals.
The CDC claims it does not have access to the data and does not track this information, but healthcare systems do.
The codes were implemented in April 2022 and created to enable healthcare providers to track their practices, according to the officials who wrote the emails.
The codes were proposed in 2021 by the CDC, with one code indicating being “unvaccinated for COVID-19,” and another indicating partial vaccination or not having received a primary series of a COVID vaccine.
Healthcare providers supported the addition of the codes and provided comments on how they would be used.
Some healthcare providers, such as Danielle Lloyd, a senior vice president at America’s Health Insurance Plans, said identifying individuals who are unvaccinated or “undervaccinated” for coronavirus “will help health insurance providers identify employees who may benefit from outreach and further education about vaccination.”
The CDC has not answered queries from The Epoch Times about the codes, but many healthcare officials said they supported the addition of the codes because being unvaccinated or undervaccinated, they claim, is a “risk factor” and increases the individual’s risk of morbidity and mortality.
The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) supported the codes for underimmunization for COVID-19 status because “It is important to be able to identify factors influencing a patient’s health status so that healthcare providers are aware of the person’s increased risk,” said a spokeswoman for AHIMA.
Members of Congress are expressing concerns over the CDC’s new medical codes for COVID-19 vaccination status, Epoch Times notes, as the agency has refused to answer their questions regarding the codes.
Republican Texas Representative Chip Roy, along with nine other members of Congress, sent a letter to the CDC voicing their worries about the federal government gathering data on Americans’ personal choices.
They stated that the data “serves no sincere purpose in treating patients’ medical conditions” and asked the CDC about the steps it is taking to safeguard Americans’ private health information.
However, the CDC has yet to respond to the letter, leaving members in the dark about the data collected from the new medical codes and how it will be used and protected.