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Now it’s easier to get digital proof of your immunization record, no matter where you live

WWith an increasing number of countries around the world now requiring visitors to present some form of digital proof of vaccination, international travelers have become accustomed to having to prove their vaccination status at one or more stages of their journey. For example, visitors to Canada must download the free ArriveCAN app to prove their immunization status before crossing the border. And all 27 member countries of the European Union now use the EU Digital Covid Certificate, which allows free movement between all the countries of the bloc.

But digital verification is also becoming more and more common in the home. Anyone traveling by car across the United States will likely encounter more than one restaurant, entertainment venue, or sporting stadium that requires proof of vaccination as a condition of entry.

The Biden administration has refused to support a national immunization verification app here in the United States, and the subject of vaccine passports is a political hot potato, with 15 Republican-leaning states limiting or banning vaccine passports through legislation or regulations. decrees of the governors.

This leaves Americans still relying on paper vaccination records from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – an analog solution that can be lost or easily rigged, and which requires human examination to confirm authenticity.

“The root cause of this paper-first orientation is due to the general lack of verified, accurate and secure digital identity,” explains Amena Ali, CEO of Airside Mobile. “Proof and identity verification is the first step in solving this problem and many others where we have to rely on paper. ”

Airside Mobile is just one of the few tech companies offering modern solutions to the puzzles of centuries-old travelers. Of the society Digital identity application allows travelers to securely manage all of their verified credentials – passport, driver’s license, Covid vaccination record, test results and more – in one place, their smartphone.

As Americans encounter a growing number of places asking them to show proof of their immunization status, it has become clear that a paper solution will not be enough. Fortunately, Americans who want a digital immunization record now have more ways than ever to get one.

America is getting smarter

A public-private partnership of tech and healthcare companies called the Immunization accreditation initiative (VCI), which includes Microsoft, Salesforce, Oracle, the Mayo Clinic and other heavyweights, has created a verifiable digital proof of vaccination called the SMART Health Card which has grown.

The SMART system generates a QR code accessible via a smartphone or printed on paper. When the code is displayed, only the person’s name, date of birth, and vaccination information are visible. No other medical information or personal data is shared. This code is also digitally signed to ensure that the card was issued from a verified location and to prevent tampering.

SMART health cards are already available to nearly 100 million US residents.

You currently have access to a SMART health card if you live in a state that was one of the early adopters of the SMART system. New York has its Excelsior Pass and California has its Digital Covid-19 Vaccine Record. Louisiana residents can add their Covid-19 vaccination records to the LA wallet, which uses the SMART system. And just yesterday Hawaii started offering the Hawaii SMART Health Card, a digital, state-issued record that can be used to confirm vaccination status to businesses and locations that need it.

If your state doesn’t offer a SMART solution, maybe your county does. Maryland does not offer a statewide SMART health card, but residents of Calvert County, Carroll County, Charles County, St. Mary County, Talbot County and County Wicomico can get a free SMART health card through a partnership with VaccineCheck. (And, no matter where you live, you can subscribe to VaccineCheck for $ 24.95 per year to get a verified digital vaccination card.)

The logical place to start looking for a digital solution is where you’ve been vaccinated. Each state’s health department keeps track of vaccination records and can tell you if it’s possible to get digital proof of your Covid status. Start by finding your state on the List of CDC’s state and regional immunization registries.

Eight states and territories use a platform called MyIRMobile, which allows residents to get their immunization record in a PDF file that can be printed or stored on their phone. MyIRMobile is available in Arizona, District of Columbia, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Dakota, Washington, and West Virginia, and will soon be rolled out to Puerto Rico. Although it does not provide a QR code, MyIRMobile does offer official and verified registration from each participating state.

Does your state offer a digital driver’s license? Some states, including Colorado, allow residents to store their immunization information in the same digital wallet. “Colorado residents can add a photo of this vaccination record or their paper vaccination card to their MyColorado application to have an easily accessible digital vaccine record, ”said Jessica Bralish, director of communications at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

SMART healthcare providers

Whether your condition is red or blue, your health care provider or health insurance company may be able to provide you with a digital vaccination record. Dozen of large health systems and hospital groups across the country are now offering SMART health cards to patients. These include Kaiser Permanente, Tenet Health, Scripps Healthcare, Cerner and other health heavyweights. The SMART Consortium’s large regional healthcare groups span the country, from Centra Health in Virginia to UCHealth in Colorado and from CoxHealth in Missouri to SoutheastHEALTH in Alabama and Georgia.

Drugstore and grocery store chains issuing SMART health cards

You can also get a free SMART health card if you’ve been vaccinated at any branch of Walmart, Sam’s Club, CVS, Walgreens, Costco, Publix, Kroger, Rite-Aid, or one of dozens of other companies. participating in retail pharmacy program. To access an electronic version of your vaccination record, connect to the online Covid portal of the brand where you received your vaccines.

Airlines using vaccine verification apps

If you are traveling outside of the United States, you may need to download an app to check your immunization status, depending on where you are going and how you get there. Nearly four dozen international airlines have adopted free travel Travel Pass, which is supported by the International Air Transport Association. British Airways and American Airlines both use an alternative solution called VeriFLY.

SMART digital ID applications

Getting a digital vaccination record is considerably more difficult if you get vaccinated outside of the traditional system, notes a reader named Joe. As a 30-year veteran of the United States Army, he and his wife each received two doses of the Pfizer vaccine at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, and were given the usual CDC Covid-19 paper vaccination cards. .

But Joe also had many great reasons for wanting a digital recording. “Electronic verification is much more secure and that is why many states and foreign governments have implemented their use,” he writes. “And mandatory proof of vaccination is increasingly common for attendance at performance venues, indoor seating in gourmet restaurants, and travel abroad.”

When attempting to obtain a digital immunization record through Maryland’s MyIRMobile portal, Joe discovered that his health records were outside the state system. “Walter Reed indicated that, if you wish, only we can get hard copies of our electronic vaccination records, but apparently MyIRMobile does not accept any vaccination information from private citizens for inclusion in their databases. “

For members of the military community who want digital proof of their vaccination record, this is a frustrating hurdle. “There are well over nine million people who are registered to receive health care in the military health care system and potentially everyone aged 12 or older faces the same dilemma of not being able to obtain digital evidence. official vaccination against Covid. status of any government office, ”says Joe.

“We certainly understand your reader’s frustration,” says Ken Lisaius, vice president of public affairs and communications at CLEAR, whose Health Pass has become a must-have verification app for airlines, sports stadiums and many businesses. “Right now, official vaccine records live in various places, depending on where a person has been vaccinated. ”

So these days, it’s relatively easy to get digital proof of vaccination if you get vaccinated at a state-run site, national pharmacy chain, or local health care provider. But getting vaccinated through the Department of Defense military health system means that, at least for now, Joeelectronic records are effectively outside of the SMART system.

The next best option may be to scan their paper Covid vaccination card into a digital ID app that verifies their identity. “CLEAR has built our digital vaccine solutions to ensure that we cover as many people and scenarios as possible,” says Lisaius, but unfortunately, “in some cases, a person’s only record is their CDC card. In this case, users can download their CDC card and information.

Likewise, “he and his wife can use the Airside digital identification application to verify themselves and scan their CDC paper vaccination card to obtain a self-certified digital copy of their vaccination status, ”says Ali. “First, we check US passports and driver’s licenses against government sources. Then, we pair that proven ID with an image of the user’s immunization card for a convenient and portable way to share their status.

“What’s different with the Airside Digital ID app is that all user data stays with the individual,” says Ali. “Once someone downloads the app and adds their credentials and vaccination card, that information stays on the app until they choose to share it by showing the phone screen or providing a digital consent to share for a limited time. Other applications do not necessarily use the same principles.


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Jacob C.

The author Jacob C.

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