Some Americans, including Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), are balking at [questions about COVID vaccine status from businesses, employers, and family] and are claiming that asking about or requiring proof of vaccination is a violation of the HIPAA federal privacy law.
“Vax records, along with ALL medical records are private due to HIPPA rights,” Greene recently tweeted, misspelling the law’s acronym.
That’s a common misconception but is “simply untrue,” said Robert Gatter, a professor with the Center for Health Law Studies at St. Louis University School of Law. Citing HIPAA as a reason to not disclose vaccination status is often a “knee-jerk reaction” that “quickly gets turned into a statement that sounds like law,” Gatter said. People sometimes say, “‘But I have a right not to be asked that question,’” he continued, “and it’s just not the case.”
Under federal laws, there are very few, if any, situations in which businesses, airlines, employers, schools and even those covered by HIPAA are prohibited from asking you to share your vaccination status or show your vaccine record card, experts said.
“Whether those two things are effective in keeping unvaccinated people out of your store is a different issue,” [bioethics expert Kate] Spector-Bagdady said. “But it’s not a HIPAA problem.”