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Oakland Police And City Say They Have No Vaccination Rate Data For Officers

Oakland police getting out of a white van with NV plates.
Steve Rhodes
Flickr / Creative Commons
Oakland police getting out of a white van with NV plates.

The Oakland Police Department and city government have told a local media outlet that they don’t collect data on how many officers or staff have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

An OPD spokesperson responded to an SFGATE request on vaccination rates within the department by saying that it doesn’t compile them.

The spokesperson argued releasing such information would violate the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act — also known as HIPAA.

The act became law in 1996. It essentially protects individually identifiable data from being provided by health care entities. Some legal experts say that applies to hospitals and health plans — not agencies like police departments.

SFGATE filed a public information request in the aggregate. So, in the event HIPAA does in fact apply to Oakland police, the information being requested would not violate any individual privacy mandate.

The Oakland Police Department has not further commented on the story.

Sunni M. Khalid is a veteran of more than 40 years in journalism, having worked has in print, radio, television, and web journalism.