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Don’t Have Your California Digital Vaccine Card Yet? Here’s How to Get It

Digital vaccine cards are now available to Californians through the California Department of Public Health.

If you haven’t signed up yet, read on for more details of what CDPH’s digital vaccine verification looks like, why you might want to have one, how to request your digital vaccine record online and what do do if you have problems with the system.

What Is a Digital COVID Vaccine Record? What Does It Look Like?

Your digital COVID vaccine record refers to the details of your COVID vaccination as stored in the California Immunization Registry (which also stores details of all your vaccinations, not just your COVID shots). What’s being referred to as your “digital COVID vaccine card” is really just a screenshot of that online record — plus a QR code that’s attached to it.

It’s an alternative way of verifying your COVID vaccination status if and when venues or businesses request to see it. Previously, you’d have only been able to show the paper copy of your vaccine record (the one you received when you got your shot) or a photo of that paper copy.

The state’s digital COVID-19 vaccine record works by taking the phone number or email address associated with your COVID vaccine appointment — and then matching those details with the vaccination information stored in the California Immunization Registry.

The link you’ll receive from the CDPH will either be texted to you or emailed, depending on the contact method you provide. The link opens to a webpage with your COVID vaccination records, including which brand of vaccine you received and when you got your shot(s). You can screenshot this page and save it to your computer or phone.

The web page will contain a QR code, which you can also screenshot and save on your phone. If you’re at a venue that can read SMART Health Cards, you can present a copy of this QR code for them to scan.

Why Should I Get a Digital Vaccine Card? Where Could I Be Asked for Mine?

This digital record is also a good option if you’ve straight-up misplaced or damaged your paper vaccine card recently. Not only can you use the digital version as proof of your vaccination, but you can print it out to replace your paper card wholesale.

The state has stressed that the digital vaccination record is not a vaccine passport, and that you are not required to obtain one. The state’s vaccine card FAQs also say that California “will not be implementing a mandatory passport system in California.”

Some venues have the right to ask you to provide proof of vaccination as a condition of entry – and they’re going to do that regardless of whether you call that proof a “passport” or not. These venues might include larger locations like concert halls and sporting stadiums, but also smaller venues like gyms and bars. Your workplace may also ask you to provide proof of vaccination.

How to Get Started

Visit the state’s Digital COVID-19 Vaccine Record portal to start the process of requesting your vaccination record electronically.

What If I Don’t Want to Get a Digital Vaccine Card?

That’s OK — nobody’s going to make you get one. The state says you are not required to obtain a digital COVID-19 vaccine record, and that this system is entirely optional.

It’s also just one of the ways to show your proof of vaccination. You can still show your paper card at anywhere that’s requesting proof of vaccination.

Excerpted from “Don’t Have Your California Digital Vaccine Card Yet? Here’s How to Get It” from KQED. Read the full article online.

Source: KQED | Don’t Have Your California Digital Vaccine Card Yet? Here’s How to Get It, https://www.kqed.org/news/11879188/dont-have-your-california-digital-vaccine-card-yet-heres-how-to-get-it |

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