digital vaccine portal

California Now Has a Digital COVID-19 Vaccine Record Tool

Californians can access the same vaccine record from their paper CDC vaccination cards, through a digital portal.

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

The California Department of Public Health and California Department of Technology launched a digital portal on Friday, for residents to access a digital copy of their COVID-19 vaccination record. The portal is available here.

Residents can input a few personal details — name, date of birth and email or phone number — and get a link to a QR code and digital copy of their COVID-19 vaccination record from the state's immunization registry.

"After creating a 4-digit PIN, the user receives a link to their vaccine record that will open upon re-entry of the PIN," according to a statement from the CDPH.

The digital portal serves as an alternative or addition to the paper CDC vaccination cards typically received during a vaccine appointment, the CDPH said.

"If you want to share your proof of vaccination, you can use either the electronic version you’ll get from the portal or the card you were given at time of vaccination," the portal webpage says.

The Digital COVID-19 Vaccine Record "is a convenient option for Californians who received a COVID-19 vaccination to access their record from the state’s immunization registry systems," the CDPH said.

The state maintains on the FAQ page for the portal that it is not a vaccine passport.

Though the state's June 15 reopening removed the safety restrictions in place under the color-coded tier system and allows vaccinated Californians to go without masks in a number of situations, unvaccinated people are still required to wear masks.

Businesses and public locations are required to enforce those mask rules for unvaccinated individuals, but can make their own decisions about how to check vaccination status.

According to Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly, there are three options for business owners and event-venue operators.

  • Businesses and venues can publicly post rules regarding mask-wearing and allow visitors to self-attest that they are vaccinated.
  • Businesses can implement a vaccine-verification system to determine whether individuals are required to wear a mask.
  • Businesses can simply require all patrons to wear a mask.

The digital portal allows vaccinated individuals with a digital backup option for their paper vaccination card, should they enter a business that has implemented a vaccine-verification system.

“While CDPH recommends that vaccinated Californians keep their paper CDC card in a safe and secure place, we recognize that some people might prefer an electronic version,” California State Epidemiologist Dr. Erica Pan said. “And if one of the state’s nearly 20 million vaccinated Californians misplaces their paper card, the Digital COVID-19 Vaccine Record provides a convenient backup.”

The information in the portal will remain private, "sent only to the mobile phone or email that is associated with your immunization record," according to the portal FAQ. "Only you can decide how and if you want to share your record with others."

The information will also not be saved in the QR code, in compliance with the SMART Health Card Framework.

"California’s Digital COVID-19 Vaccine Record follows national standards for security and privacy," the CDPH statement said.

"The record shows the same information as the paper CDC vaccine card: name, date of birth, date of vaccinations, and vaccine manufacturer. It also includes a QR code that makes these same details readable by a QR scanner."

Individuals are "encouraged" to screenshot the record that appears and save the screenshot to their camera roll. They can also input their information into the digital tool more than once, if they do not save or screenshot their digital record the first time.

The new Digital COVID-19 Vaccine Record tool is available here.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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