While most of us received a paper certificate when we got our covid-19 vaccine, it’s not exactly convenient or safe to keep that document with you at all times to prove vaccination status when needed.
And now that some states, cities, and countries require proof of covid-19 vaccination for indoor activities and events like bars, restaurants, gyms, clubs, and large gatherings, it’s even more important to have a digital copy of your vaccine records on hand.
That’s why we recommend you keep an electronic version of your vaccine status on your phone and place that original certificate in a safe and secure place.
While there is no single universal digital system in the United States that proves you’re vaccinated against covid, there are several ways to digitally show your proof of vaccination.
Many of us receive an email or text message from our vaccination provider several days to a few weeks after our vaccination appointment. This message contains a link to access your digital vaccination record which, if supported, you can then add as a digital pass to your iPhone’s Wallet App or as an immunization entry into the Health app.
Your Wallet or Health app’s vaccination records are verifiable and digitally signed by your vaccine provider(s.) That means your digital vaccine record is accepted in the same way as a paper document (your CDC vaccine card) with an official seal.
If your vaccine provider doesn’t support Apple Wallet or Health apps, there are also many third-party apps and services that you can use to add your covid vaccine record to the Wallet or Health Apps.
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- 1 Keep a digital copy of your vaccination card on your smartphone!
- 2 How to add your digital vaccine certificate to your iPhone and Apple Watch using the Wallet or Health apps
- 3 Add your health and vaccination records from your health provider into Apple Health
- 4 There’s an app for your covid vaccine record!
- 5 Want another option for storing your COVID vaccine records?
- 6 Summary
Keep a digital copy of your vaccination card on your smartphone!
Unlike other countries, the United States does not offer a vaccination digital certificate. And that’s why there are so many different ways to get your digital covid 19 vaccine record.
For those that own an iPhone or an Apple Watch, adding your certificate to your Wallet app (when available) or the Health app is a great way to keep your vaccine record with you, so it’s there when you need it.
This feature requires iOS 15.1 and watchOS 8.1 and allows you to securely download and store your verifiable COVID-19 vaccination information in the Health app and then add that vaccination record to the Wallet app on your iPhone and Apple Watch.
Once you add your covid vaccine health record to your iPhone, that digital record includes a QR code that is scanned by a SMART Health Card reader whenever you are at a place that requires proof of vaccination!
If you use Android, these steps are similar when using Google Pay. Samsung Pay also offers a way to store your vaccine record when using the third-party app Common Pass.
I recently added my covid-19 vaccine certificate (from Los Angeles County, California) to my iPhone’s Wallet app (and Apple Watch.) I’m sharing that process with you today so you always have that electronic backup at your fingertips.
We realize that every country, state, and even some counties have different laws and processes for getting a digital covid vaccination record. So check with your local government to see if they offer it.
And if not, we’ve got some options for you so you can keep your vaccination records on your phone.
So let’s get to it!
How to add your digital vaccine certificate to your iPhone and Apple Watch using the Wallet or Health apps
If you got your vaccine from your healthcare provider, state or local health department, or at a pharmacy like Walmart, Walgreens, Rite Aid, or CVS, you might receive a text or email message from them with a digital proof of your vaccination using the SMART Health System.
The SMART system generates a QR code that you can access on your iPhone or other smartphones. You can also use the QR code to print out a paper copy.
When opened, the QR code lists your name, date of birth, and all your covid vaccination details (date administered, brand, batch) appears on your device’s screen to verify your vaccination status. No other medical information about you is shared.
Step 1: Look for and open an email or text from your vaccine provider, state, or county
After your vaccination, visit the provider’s web portal or look for an email or text message from your vaccine provider with instructions about accessing your digital vaccine record. If you didn’t receive it, contact your vaccine provider or visit their website.
Or visit your state or local department of health
If you never provided this information or didn’t receive any message or email, visit your state or local department of health’s website and search for a digital COVID-19 vaccine record or digital covid-19 vaccine passport.
Your state may already have a digital vaccine records service. Arizona, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Dakota, Washington, West Virginia, and Washington D.C. use the MyIR service with its MyIR Mobile service that will soon offer scannable QR Codes to prove your COVID vaccination status.
I was lucky enough to get both a text message and email from LA County’s digital vaccine records provider.
However, I know not everyone has that luxury, especially if you did not provide an email or mobile phone number when registering or getting your vaccine.
If you didn’t receive a message or email regarding your digital vaccination record, first make sure you check the email or cell phone number you used when you received your vaccine.
For example, everyone in my family used my phone number and email as the contacts when scheduling their vaccines. So to get their vaccine records, we need to enter my phone number and email to get access to their records!
Check where you got your vaccine(s)
- For folks in California like me, everyone who is vaccinated in California can request a digital COVID-19 Vaccination Record to add to Apple’s Health app (or Google Pay) via this link.
- Healthvana allows Los Angeles residents to add their COVID-19 vaccination in Apple’s Wallet app (or Google Pay.)
- For our friends in New York, follow this link.
- Louisiana residents can access their COVID-19 vaccination records to the LA Wallet.
- For folks in Hawaii, including residents and visitors, use the Hawaiʻi SMART Health Card system.
- Some counties in Maryland now offer residents a free SMART Health Card through a partnership with VaccineCheck.
- For folks in the EU, go to the EU Digital COVID Certificate site.
- Australians can add their COVID-19 vaccination digital certificates to Apple Wallet using the government’s Express Plus Medicare mobile app.
Check with the pharmacy that provided your vaccine
Some pharmacies offer an online portal to request your vaccine records.
You need to create an account and provide the contact information you used when creating your vaccine appointment to access their records systems.
- Walmart COVID-19 vaccine record access.
- Walgreen COVID-19 vaccine registration.
- CVS vaccination records portal.
- Rite Aid proof of COVID-19 vaccination site.
Step 2: Open your COVID-19 vaccination information
- Open the link in the email or text message in Safari.
- Sign in with your account or your personal information.
- Review your vaccine record to ensure the information is accurate. Check that the digital record shows the same information as your CDC vaccine card: name, date of birth, vaccination dates, and the brand name of the vaccine you received.
- Look for and tap the Add to Apple Wallet button. You might also see a button Works with Apple Health–if so, tap that to add to the Health app.
- If you use Android, look for a button Save to phone to save your digital vaccine record to Google Pay. Choose Google Pay even if you don’t have the Google Pay app.
- Tap Add at the top to get your pass in the Wallet app. Or tap Add to Health for the Apple Health app.
- Review the information again and confirm your name, date of birth, vaccine dates, and vaccine brand.
Step 3: Take a look at your COVID-19 vaccination information and show digital proof of your vaccination
Once you add your covid vaccine record, open your iPhone’s or Apple Watch’s Wallet app or the Health app > Browse > Health Records > Immunizations to see your digital vaccination record!
Tap on it to see more details, including the QR code and dates the vaccine was administered.
That QR code can then be scanned by a SMART Health Card reader when required for things like travel, events, indoor activities and dining, and other businesses that require proof of covid vaccination.
When you add your vaccination pass to your iPhone’s Wallet, it automatically syncs (this syncing can take some time) to your Apple Watch. If you don’t see it, restart your phone and watch, then check again.
If you added your record to Apple Health
- Open the Health app > Browse.
- Scroll down to Health Records.
- Tap Immunizations and then choose your COVID-19 Vaccine.
- Tap on it again to access your vaccine QR code and scroll down and tap Add to Wallet, if you want your record in the Wallet app (this features requires iOS 15.1+ and watchOS 8.1+)
No Add to Apple Wallet or Works with Apple Health option?
First, try updating your iOS and watchOS to its latest version.
If you still don’t see the Add to Apple Wallet button, take a screenshot of the QR code and send that screenshot (via email, text message, or AirDrop) to another device, print it, or scan it using a SMART Health Card reader app (see options in the next section.)
Then use your iPhone’s QR scanner to scan it and add your record to the Apple Health or Wallet app.
If you have a QR code but cannot scan it, you can import it directly into a third-party app. And many of these apps work, even if you don’t have a QR code but have your vaccination card.
Add your health and vaccination records from your health provider into Apple Health
Get your health immunization records from your healthcare providers using QR codes on iPhone
- If your healthcare provider sends you a QR code in an email or you have a printed copy, you can use your iPhone camera to scan that code. You’ll need to scan it from another device, like an iPad or computer, or print it and then scan it.
- Tap Add to Health, then tap Done.
- To view your vaccine record, open the Health app and tap Browse at the bottom. Then, scroll down to Health Record and tap Immunizations.
- Your immunization digital record for covid includes a QR code that can be scanned by a SMART Health Card reader when required.
- For folks using iOS 15.1 and above and watchOS 8.1 and higher, you can also add this record to your Apple Wallet app using the Add to Wallet button.
Connect your healthcare providers to Apple Health and download your vaccination information
Many healthcare providers now offer a way for you to download your health records from their systems to Apple Health, including any vaccination records as well as lab and test results, medications, allergies, procedures, and other vitals.
- Open Apple Health and choose the Browse tab.
- Scroll down to Health Records and tap Add Account.
- If this is your first time, tap Get Started.
- You can add more than one healthcare provider, but you need to add each individually.
- Scroll the list for all currently supported health providers or use the search bar and type in the name of your clinic, hospital, or healthcare provider. You can also search by location.
- If you don’t find your provider, it likely doesn’t yet support Apple Health integration. See this document for the list of all systems that currently support Apple Health.
- Tap Connect to Account.
- Sign in to your healthcare provider’s patient portal using your username and password for that site. If you don’t have an account with that provider, create one and then return to this step.
- Follow the on-screen instructions to finish connecting your healthcare provider’s health records to Apple Health’s Health Records.
- Repeat for any additional healthcare providers.
- Once integrated, go to the Health app > Browse > Health Records > Immunizations to view your vaccinations.
- Then, tap on an entry to open its details. For covid-19, that should include a QR code that you can use as proof of vaccination and can be scanned by a SMART Health Card reader.
- Scroll further down and tap Add to Wallet, giving you quick access using the Wallet app on your iPhone and paired Apple Watch. This feature requires iOS 15.1 and above.
- Once added, confirm your vaccine was added by tapping View in Wallet.
- See your digital covid vaccination card in your Apple Wallet app on your iPhone and Apple Watch! Apple lists it as your Vaccination Card for COVID-19.
There’s an app for your covid vaccine record!
If your vaccine provider, state, or locality doesn’t offer a way to get your digital vaccine record, consider using a third-party app. Also, if you’re traveling, you may need to use one of these apps to verify your vaccine status, as required by the airline or other institution.
These third-party apps verify your vaccination records and create a digital record. While some of these apps require that you already have a QR code from your vaccine provider or state/locality, others allow you to upload your CDC vaccine card.
Most of these apps are free, but a few charge a fee if your state or locality does not participate in their digital vaccine program.
You will need to verify your identity by providing a photo of your government ID, a picture of your CDC COVID 19 vaccination card, and other information as requested in order to verify your vaccination status.
These COVID-19 vaccination apps or services include:
- CLEAR HealthPass app (free): accepts QR codes from vaccine providers (including states, pharmacies, and some healthcare systems.) But if that’s not available, you can also upload a scan of your CDC vaccine card and then create a digital vaccine card with the Clear app’s Health Pass.
- CommonPass app (free): must scan or import your QR code and does not allow users to scan their CDC vaccination cards. The CommonPass digital vaccine record includes a QR code and stores your digital vaccination record. Plus, CommonPass works with Samsung Pay to add your COVID-19 vaccine there as a pass.
- VaxYes service (free): accepts QR codes and paper vaccination cards. Offer 4 levels of verification, from a simple upload of your paper COVID-19 vaccination card (with no validation) to card validation via AI and medical professionals to complete validation using state records. Stores your vaccination record in your phone’s Digital Wallet, including Apple Wallet!
- VaccineCheck service (free for some, paid for others): accepts QR codes and paper CDC vaccination cards. Must verify your information before you receive their digital Verified Vaccine MultiPass.
Want another option for storing your COVID vaccine records?
If you don’t want to complete the steps for accessing one of these apps or services or can’t access them, there are still options!
Take a photo of your CDC card’s front and back and store it in the Photos app, Notes app, or your preferred photos app.
You can then store it locally on your phone or use iCloud, the Files app, or another cloud storage solution to share between devices.
If you choose to store your vaccine card as an image, we suggest you hide or lock that image or place the image in a locked folder on your phone (if supported.) Also, it’s important you have a passcode on your phone to prevent unwanted access to your phone’s information.
As more localities, businesses, and organizations require proof of COVID 19 vaccination, it’s important to have easy access to prove your vaccination status. For most of us, that means keeping our vaccine record on our mobile phones, in our Wallet or Health apps, or via a third-party app.
The benefit of storing your vaccine record via one of the listed digital methods is that they verify your vaccination status, encrypt your medical and personal information, and comply with HIPAA laws to protect your privacy and data.
Although not all providers or localities offer ways to store your vaccine digitally, there are still options and more and more intend to offer support for Apple Wallet, Apple Health, Samsung Pay, and Google Pay soon.