Whether you choose to get a vaccine for COVID-19, it is your decision.  We aren’t here to provide personal medical guidance or tell you what is right for you.  But with regard to informing you about the healthcare landscape, well, that’s part of our program here at HIPAA Secure Now.  And we would be remiss if we didn’t address the topic of how that vaccine can affect you in ways outside of your personal health.  With some colleges requiring that students must be vaccinated before returning in the fall, it is only a matter of time before employers start to require it within the workplace.

So, can your employer require you to get the COVID-19 vaccination, and can they ask if you are already vaccinated?  That’s a complicated yes.  If you ask an applicant, you must ask all of your existing employees as well, and if you are asking any of them, it should be with regard to the safety within the workplace.  For example, if all employees are working remotely, this wouldn’t be a necessary question.   Requiring employees to be vaccinated must also fall in line with these guidelines, and accommodation must be made for those who do not get vaccinated due to religious or medical reasons.  It should be emphasized that requiring a vaccine or requesting verification of vaccination should be done only if absolutely necessary for the job to be done safely.

What About HIPAA Violations?

Is asking your employee if they are vaccinated a violation of HIPAA rules and regulations?  This one is easier, and the answer is No, it is not.  The employer would be considered a covered entity and does not fall under those guidelines.  However, if they were to call your doctor and the doctor informed them of your vaccination status, this would be considered a violation. 

As with all medical treatment, you should do what you feel is right for you along with guidance from your trusted medical providers.  If you do decide that a COVID-19 vaccine fits within your healthcare plan, knowing this information can help you to be informed. 

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