COVID-19 vaccine card: Store it digitally for easier access. Here’s how

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You’ll need your vaccination card to enter restaurants, gyms and other venues across the country. 

US Department of Defense

For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the and websites.

Starting next year, more companies will require you to show proof of vaccination to enter buildings as part of the . But some businesses are already requiring people to show they’ve been fully vaccinated: For instance,  are requiring their employees to get the shot. Also, with the new mandate, employers with 100 or more people will .

While you may be asked to show your vaccination card to enter restaurants or your place of work, you don’t necessarily have to keep the printed version in your wallet. We recommend storing it in your phone to help prevent .

Not sure where to start? We’ll tell you all the ways you can store your vaccine card on your phone — including methods to use if you have an Android phone or iPhone, or if your state has a specific app. Be aware that if you get a , you need to re-upload your vaccine card. For more details about the coronavirus, here’s the latest on  and what to know about . This story was recently updated. 

Which states have vaccination card apps?

Many states have apps that let their residents store vaccine cards on their phones. A few include , , Hawaii,  and Oregon but that’s not all. 

Colorado residents can download the . It requires you to create an account, verify your identity and then add your digital driver’s license to your phone. After you’ve done that, you can then add your myVaccine record to the app. 

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Louisiana’s  takes a similar approach to Colorado’s, allowing you to add your driver’s license and proof of vaccination to your phone. 

California’s implementation requires you to , after which you’ll receive a text message or email with a link to a QR code you can save to your phone. When scanned, the code will offer proof of vaccination. The link will also include a digital copy of your vaccination record. 

Illinois residents can use  to show proof. The app uses Experian for identity verification.

 is another app used by several state health departments to provide a digital copy of your vaccination card. Currently, if you live in Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Dakota, Washington, West Virginia or Washington, DC, this is the app you’ll use. 

,  and  are also using web portals for residents to access their vaccination status online. 

New Yorkers have two app options, including the app and . 

We’ll continue to keep an eye out for other states that have apps and features to store your COVID-19 vaccine card online. 

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What if my state doesn’t have an app to store my card?

If your state doesn’t have an app to store your card, there are other ways to store it on your phone. The US doesn’t have a single online system or app you can use to show proof of vaccination on your phone. Instead, what qualifies as proof varies by city, county and even business. 

Some places may accept a picture of your vaccination card. It’s a confusing mess, to put it mildly. I strongly urge you to take a few minutes to research what your city, county or state will accept as proof, as it can vary. 

For example, concert producer  a “physical copy of a COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card, a digital copy of such card or such other proof as is permitted locally.”

Along with school mandates,  are also requiring students and employees to be vaccinated. , for example, requires students to be vaccinated to attend in-person classes via an online form that uploads photos of the front and back of the vaccination card.

When in doubt, look for information on the business’s website, or call the local health department and ask for clarification. This is bound to save you time, headaches and being turned away at the door.

Can I use Google Pay or Apple Wallet to store my card?

If you have an  (), you can now store your COVID-19 vaccination card on your  to present whenever you need to show you’re fully vaccinated. (You can keep a copy in the , too.) You can also keep your card handy on your  with the latest WatchOS update. 

Over on Android, you can add your . I need to remind myself each time where my card is in Google Pay, so I added a shortcut icon to my home screen to quickly find it.

Samsung Pay can also store it

Samsung now gives Galaxy phone owners the option to , its wallet app. By having direct access to your vaccination record, you won’t have to fiddle around with creating photo albums and tapping through multiple screens before you’re able to show it to a bouncer at your local watering hole. 

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Samsung Galaxy device users can store proof of vaccination in Samsung Pay by downloading the CommonHealth app.

Samsung

To add your card to Samsung Pay, you’ll need to download the (Samsung’s partner) from the Google Play Store. Follow the prompts in the app to verify your vaccination status. Once the app confirms you’ve indeed gotten the shots, you’ll be prompted to download a Smart Health Card to Samsung Pay. 

That card is what you’ll then show to anyone requesting you show proof of vaccination. 

Will a picture of my vaccine card work?

The simplest way to have a digital record of your vaccine status is to snap a picture of your vaccination card and keep it on your phone. The  keeping a picture of your card as a backup copy. 

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Taking a photo of your card — front and back — is the quickest and easiest way to store it on your phone. 

Sean Booker/CNET

Simply use the camera app on your phone to snap the photo. You can favorite the photo to quickly locate it or store it in a notes app, a folder or somewhere that’s easy to remember so you don’t have to endlessly scroll your camera roll to find it. Make sure you’re in a well-lit area and get close enough to the card that its dates and details are legible. I also suggest putting the card on a dark surface, while remaining conscious of shadows of your arms or the phone on the card itself. 

Here’s an example of one way to save your vaccination card as a new photo album. On an iPhone, open the Photos app, select the Albums tab and then tap the plus (+) sign in the top-left corner followed by New Album. Give the album a name and then tap Save. Next, select the photos of your card to add them to the album. 

On an Android phone, it depends on which app you’re using, but the process should generally be the same. If you’re using the app, open the app and then select the picture of your vaccination card. Tap the three-dot menu button in the top-right corner, followed by the Add to Album button. Select +New album and give it a name such as “Vaccination Card” and tap the checkmark button when you’re done.

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The Notes app on the iPhone has a built-in scanner that makes it really easy to quickly scan your vaccination card and store a copy. 

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

What else can I use?

I’ve had a large number of readers reach out to me about this article, each one offering advice and guidance about storing a proof of vaccination card. 

Some suggestions include well-known airport security service Clear. In fact, some concert and exhibition halls require attendees use Clear to verify their vaccination status to attend a show. You can go to to download the app and get your card added. 

 is another service that verifies your vaccination status and then adds your vaccination card to your Apple Wallet. I’ve read that you can add your card to the Google Pay app, hydraclubbioknikokex7njhwuahc2l67lfiz7z36md2jvopda7nchid.onion but after signing up and going through the process myself, I don’t see the option on a Pixel 5 running Android 12. 

If your local municipality or employer used the CDC’s Vaccine Administration Management System, then . I had more than one reader reach out to me about using this system to show proof of vaccination, but without an account myself, I’m unable to go through the process of accessing a vaccination record. 

Another suggestion I received from multiple readers is to use a scanner app on your phone and store a scanned copy of your vaccination card in something like your OneDrive personal vault or a password manager (almost all of them offer some sort of secure file storage) instead of storing the photo in Google Photos or Apple’s iCloud photos. On an iPhone, you can use the scanner that’s . On Android,  will be enough to get the job done.

This story updates as the national vaccine conversation continues. For more information about the booster shots from , and , . We have up-to-date details about the , as well as and the .

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

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24 February 2022

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