Vaccination against Covid-19 is increasingly becoming a ticket of entry into restaurants, gyms and indoor performances – or all of the above, if you’re a New York City resident.
Rather than misplace your vaccination card, you can log your vaccination status on your phone to use as proof as you reenter public spaces. You’ve got a few options for confirming you’ve been vaccinated, from scannable QR codes to scanned documents that live among your digital files, versions of “vaccine passports” that can get you in venues that only allow vaccinated patrons.
Here’s how to record your vaccination record on your phone so your small, CDC-issued vaccination card can stay safe at home.
Use your state’s approved provider
Some states allow residents access to a digital vaccine record: Arizona, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Dakota, Washington and West Virginia (plus Washington, DC) use the free service MyIR Mobile; Californians can visit myvaccinerecord.cdph.ca.gov to access their records and New Yorkers can use the app Excelsior Pass, which we’ll use as an example.
To use Excelsior Pass:
- You’ll need to enter some personal information at epass.ny.gov.
- Once you’ve verified your identity, you can access a pass with a QR code unique to you. You can add this digital pass to the Excelsior Pass app, available for both iPhone and Android, or print it for a physical copy.
Users of Excelsior Pass and California’s My Vaccine Record will receive a QR code that businesses can scan to confirm patrons are vaccinated against Covid-19. But both services are specific to these states: If you weren’t vaccinated in California or New York, you won’t be able to access your information with these apps.
Use an app you trust
Several apps that consumers already use as entry through airport security or into sporting events can hold your proof of vaccination. Insider lists Clear, CommonPass and VeriFly as reputable apps for storing this information (we’ll use Clear as an example below).
To upload your vaccination card to Clear:
- You’ll need to first create a free Clear account, if you don’t already have one. Enter your email address. The app will ask you for a photo ID and will then scan a photo of your face. Once you’ve verified your identity, create a password and log in.
- On the main menu of the app, click the option to “Add your Covid-19 vaccination.” There are a few ways to do this: You can scan your card directly or add your QR code if you live in California or New York; you can log in with a Walmart account if you received your vaccines at a Walmart pharmacy; or you can log in with select health care providers.
- If you’re scanning your vaccination card, position the front of your card within the margins provided onscreen. Once you take a photo, the app will ask you to fill in the name of the vaccine you received, the dates of your doses and the location where you were vaccinated.
- Once you’ve plugged in that information, the app will generate a scannable QR code to prove your vaccination status.
Scan your card with your phone
If your state doesn’t use an app to verify vaccination status, the Wall Street Journal’s Nicole Nguyen suggests scanning your vaccination card with your phone camera. Both iPhone and Android phones have document-scanning capabilities.
iPhone users can scan their pass without downloading an app.
- Open the Notes app.
- Create a new note and title it something like “Covid-19 Vaccine” so it’s easy to find.
- Under your header, click the camera icon. A menu should pop up – select “scan documents.”
- Position your camera over the front of your vaccination card until it focuses and scans the image, then click the button in the center of the bottom of the screen to capture an image.
- Your iPhone should recognize the scanned document as your vaccination card. The note should save automatically.
Android users will need to download Google Drive. (iPhone users can also use the Google Drive app if they have it.)
- Open Google Drive.
- Tap the “add” symbol, then the “scan” symbol (it’s the camera icon).
- Position your camera over your vaccination card until it focuses and scans the image.
- Save your document by tapping done (the check mark icon).
Digital vaccination records may be the most convenient way to prove your Covid-19 vaccination status going forward – and your ticket back to normalcy.