Vaccination Passports

By Art Gross, President and CEO, HIPAA Secure Now!
Twitter: @HIPAASecureNow
Read other articles by this author

Many people are getting their vaccines for their own safety, for the general well-being of the public, for their jobs, and some are getting it so that they can safely travel again. In fact, many people are doing this because they know that they won’t be able to leave their home base if they don’t have the vaccination due to restrictions at their destination. If the restrictions aren’t in place, the hassle of proving that they are COVID-19 negative might be more complicated than whatever their concerns are in the first place.

But how do you identify the vaccinated from the non-vaccinated?

With vaccination passports.

What Is It?
A vaccination passport is a way of verifying that the user or carrier identified within it has been vaccinated – or not. Currently in use in Israel and being tested elsewhere in Europe, these can be digital codes, an app for your phone, or a small paper card.

Does it Violate HIPAA?
No, because the user or patient is willingly giving up the information that the passport contains. But there are also other statutes that may be violated that could include discrimination for entry or options to people who have not had access to the vaccine. It is all new and will be a learn as we go process that undoubtedly will shed light on issues, concerns, and even unearth new ways of doing things.

While this is (possibly) a hot topic on whether or not you can require people to be vaccinated, the fact is, we’ve been requiring people to “show their papers” for many other types of medical verifications such as proof of vaccination against yellow fever, cholera, or rubella. COVID-19 just seems to have presented us with new scenarios and situations of exposure that we have to face differently.

How do you feel about the vaccination passport? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

This article was originally published on HIPAA Secure Now! and is republished here with permission. HIPAA Secure Now offers annual online subscriptions to help covered entities and business associates keep up with compliance. Learn more here.

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