- What is the Statewide Immunization Online Network (SIMON)?
SIMON is an immunization information system that helps ensure access and availability of essential immunization records. It also allows DHEC to assess immunization coverage rates across the state. DHEC began work on SIMON in 2017 with the support of a private grant and funding from the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control.
- What is the purpose of the public portal?
SIMON’s public portal allows members of the public to freely and conveniently access their personal immunization record. The portal is similar to the online patient health record most hospitals and primary care physicians use to make other health records available to patients online. Two important benefits of the portal are that it allows people to verify they are up-to-date on vaccines from home and gives patients the ability to make the record available for a health care provider. If someone has an injury that might require a Td vaccine, which prevents tetanus and diphtheria, a provider could use the vaccination information to determine if the person’s Td is current or if they need a new dose.
- Can SIMON be used to help me determine my child’s vaccination status?
Parents can easily access the personal immunization record of their minor child and print it out or save it to their computer. However, it is important to note that while the printed record helps parents know where their child stands in terms of vaccinations, at this time, it cannot be used to replace the immunization certificate that must be signed by a provider to verify immunization status for entrance to school and/or child care. DHEC is working to make that an option.
- How does the public portal work?
The system is easy to use. Users provide basic information of the person whose record is needed (first and last name, gender and date of birth), along with a cell number or email that has already been entered in SIMON by their provider.
- Do other states provide similar access to immunization records?
South Carolina is among many states and other entities that have systems that allow members of the public to access their immunization records. Eighty-five percent of jurisdictions that responded to a survey by the Association of Immunization Managers said they already are offering public access to their immunization records or plan to implement or enhance the service in the coming year.
- Is the system secure?
Yes. The information provided about the person whose record is needed is used to develop a two-factor authentication to access personal immunization records:
- Demographic information must match a record in SIMON, including either a cellphone or email address
- A verification code will be sent via text message or email. The code must be entered in the public portal to gain access to the personal immunization record.
- Will I be able to get my or my child’s records if the vaccinations were obtained in another state?
Vaccinations administered in some other states or in military facilities are not required to be reported in South Carolina. Records of these immunizations may not be found in the patient portal.
- I got vaccinated at a military facility. Will I be able to retrieve my records via SIMON?
For military families looking to gain access to their vaccination records, we advise you to speak with the clinic associated with your base. SIMON does not currently receive information from the military. However, we are actively working on a solution to remedy this in the future.
- I got many of my immunizations long ago. Will I still be able to access them through the public portal?
As of Jan. 1, 2017, all immunization providers are to report all administered doses of vaccines to the state immunization registry. If you have questions regarding your immunizations, please reach out to your primary health care provider or the provider that would have administered the vaccines.