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Are vaccine passports like ‘Excelsior Pass’ legal? Do they violate any laws like HIPPA?

The concept of a ‘vaccine passport’ has been discussed at the state and federal level. Both state and federal government have taken different steps to initiate a process of granting people access to events based on negative tests- and vaccination record.

That said, a fundamental question has come up: Do they violate HIPPA?

The federal government has backed off of initial talks of a ‘vaccine passport’, opting on Monday to let the private sector take the lead on creating services- and allowing venues to make their own decisions.


The state has been a little more aggressive in this category.

The Excelsior Pass is still optional, but some concerns have been raised about privacy. Attorneys who specialize in medical privacy say there isn’t any clear violation at the surface. Lisa Proskin, managing attorney at the Albany-based Proskin Law Firm, told WTEN that the matter is outside of HIPPA.

“I don’t think it falls within HIPPA. If the vaccine required something with the doctor and the doctors were providing all of this information, it might be a little different. But the way it stands now, the person doing it, the person downloading the passport, is the one entering all of the information,” she explained.

That said, businesses and venues will be able to deny service to those who do not utilize passports, or show proof of vaccination. That will fall within legal grounds, too.



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