Many people are still fearful of the future that the coronavirus could bring. Many businesses and airports are considering making the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory in the future, which is a controversial topic among many people. Because of this uncertain future, many people are wondering how their COVID-19 vaccines will be tracked and if their vaccinations will become public record. So the question is: are your COVID-19 vaccinations public record? Will they ever become public record? Here is what we know.
The HIPAA Act Still Stands
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) allows for our medical records to remain private unless we have consented otherwise on paper. Because of this, parents, friends, or even strangers can no longer call on our behalf to see what is on our medical records.
Back in the day, people could just call in and make up a good story to see someone else’s medical records. However, after 1996 this act became illegal. Now you need to go to the doctor’s office yourself to know what’s on your medical record or prove your identity over the phone.
How Could We Verify Vaccinations While Following the HIPAA Act?
In the future, many public places will probably check to make sure everyone has the proper antibodies necessary before entering their establishments. These places could include amusement parks, airports, sports arenas, theaters, etc. that usually hold thousands of people in their establishments. There have been talks of handing out vaccination cards to those who have been vaccinated as proof that they have received the COVID-19 vaccine.
However, is it possible for these establishments to call your doctor and make sure you got the vaccine? The quick answer to this is yes. This is because the privacy rule in HIPAA under the section “Minimum Necessary Standard” allows for public health officials “to limit the amount of information disclosed to the minimum necessary to achieve the specified goal.” It then continues on to say that the disclosure could be required by law and, “covered entity may also reasonably rely on a public official’s determination that the information requested is the minimum necessary for the public health purpose.”
Therefore, according to the HIPAA section “Minimum Necessary Standard,” doctors would be allowed to disclose to the public place you are attending whether or not you have had the vaccine. However, all they have the power to do is answer “Yes” or “No” to you receiving the vaccine, they will not be able to disclose any more information than that. For many years, there have been certain jobs and places that have required certain vaccines to enter, so this vaccine should not be any different.
Are Your COVID-19 Vaccinations Public Record?
The answer to this is no because your vaccine records are not being stored by a national organization. If anything, your vaccinations could be stored by your doctor’s office on your medical record. However, according to HIPAA, no one can access your medical record without consent. The only way someone could access your vaccine record is if it was mandated by law for you to have the coronavirus vaccine to access their establishment. Then, the establishment could ask to see your vaccination card and call your doctor to get a “Yes” or a “No” if they need to.
Other than this, they can not ask about any other vaccine that you might have had in the past. Those vaccines might or might not be on your medical record, and they certainly aren’t public record. If your parents forgot to record these vaccines and your past doctor got rid of any evidence that you had a certain vaccine, then it is nearly impossible to track down these vaccine records again.
Keep Your COVID-19 Vaccination Cards
When you choose to get the COVID-19 vaccination, you will receive a COVID-19 vaccination card after your first dose. Once you receive the second dosage 21-28 days after you get your first dosage, your doctor will then add that to your vaccination card. With this vaccination card, you can look up certain health information, such as which vaccination company supplied the dosage and the dates on when you got the vaccine.
However, this card can also be useful in the future when proving to businesses that you got the coronavirus vaccine. If businesses require getting the vaccine in order to enter the establishment, then you will be able to show them your vaccination card for proof.
There is also a digital vaccine passport that is in its final stages of development that will tell airports whether or not you got the vaccine. This works by downloading an app and allowing your medical facility to share COVID-19 related information of yours with the app. Details about this are still in development, but we will keep you updated about this in the future once more information comes out.
Social Catfish is Here to Help You!
At Social Catfish, we want to help you verify the identities of those who might seem suspicious to you. If you have their name, email address, phone number, social media username, or image, you can reverse search and see who the suspected person was that you’ve been in contact with if you think your COVID-19 vaccine is public record.