The COVID-19 pandemic has made all aspects of life more challenging, but the Clear Health Pass app is here to help make navigating through our “new normal” as easy and streamlined as possible.
As someone who laminated their flimsy CDC vaccination card (as this is now travel gold!), it’s obvious this simple card was not meant for daily wear and tear or long-term use.
It makes the most sense to secure our health status in a mobile, digital way in today’s world. CLEAR’s Health Pass app safely stores this information and makes it readily available on demand for any situation where it is needed.
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- 1 What is CLEAR?
- 2 How to download and set up the CLEAR Health Pass app
- 3 CLEAR app’s Health Pass
- 4 How to use the CLEAR Health app for travel, restaurants, and other venues
- 5 Alternative apps for your covid vaccine and other health information
- 6 Adding your covid vaccine information straight to your phone
- 7 Take-Aways from using CLEAR’s Health Pass app (or others)
What is CLEAR?
Since its debut around ten years ago, CLEAR has been helping airports and passengers be more efficient while traveling. CLEAR uses biometric identifiers – your eyes, face, and fingerprints instead of using traditional identification documents to pass security. These form a specialized ID that is unique to you.
When it comes to your protected health information, security comes second to none. Rest assured knowing that CLEAR is SAFETY Act Certified by the Department of Homeland Security.
With airport safety and efficiency covered, CLEAR is now expanding into the digital health world. Their new app gives you access to important vaccination documents and health information needed for travel and other venues.
How to download and set up the CLEAR Health Pass app
As international travel, concert venues, sports arenas, and other public spaces continually adapt to the ever-changing health regulations, a few things remain pretty constant – your vaccination status and/or your presentation of a negative COVID-19 test.
As I cautiously ventured to Europe this summer, those were the first two questions I was asked by everyone, everywhere. My vaccination card or negative test result were sought after even before handing over my passport for an international flight.
That was a first in all my years of travel.
At that point, my frail CDC card was not meant to be pulled in and out of my wallet on the regular, handled by multiple airline agents, and shoved back to me between a boarding pass and passport (only to be pulled out again at the next checkpoint).
This is where the CLEAR Health Pass app comes in! Imagine having all of your needed health documents in one place at the touch of a button (or touch screen!).
Once you have downloaded the CLEAR app, you can immediately begin to fill in your health profile.
To link your vaccination card:
- Open the Clear app on your phone.
- Scroll down to the Digital vaccine card and tap Add My Vaccination.
- Tap Get Started and follow the guided prompts from there, including adding your email and phone number.
- The app asks you to use the camera app to take a picture of various identification documents (like a passport, driver’s license, or state ID.) You must also take a selfie to verify that the ID matches you. Currently, CLEAR supports US and Canada photo IDs but accepts passports for all other countries.
- Clear’s facial recognition system securely validates your photo with the identification provided.
- You may need to add additional information to verify it’s truly you or upload additional photos using the camera.
- Once CLEAR accepts your identification and verifies your identity, choose a password for your CLEAR account.
- Then, follow the prompts to add your COVID-19 vaccine from the options available, including scanning your vaccination card, adding from a healthcare provider, using a SMART QR code, or from vaccine providers partnering with CLEAR (such as Rite Aid and Walmart.)
- To scan your QR code, you’ll need to capture it from another device (like a computer, iPad, or friend’s device) or scan a printout of it.
- CLEAR then verifies your vaccine information. You may need to add additional information if requested.
- Finally, you receive a unique QR code for your digital vaccination card attached to your CLEAR Health Pass app. The photo you took to verify your identity is also shown.
- Tap View Details to see your vaccination dates.
- Anytime you need proof of COVID-19 vaccination, open the CLEAR app and tap Digital Vaccine Card. It should show as completed!
The whole process took about ten minutes from start to finish and was extremely simple. I did not need to pay anything to sign up for the app either.
CLEAR app’s Health Pass
You can also create and activate your CLEAR Health Pass in the app that links your vaccination card, any negative tests, and other needed documents to give you access to a handful of approved venues.
How to use CLEAR’s Health Pass
- Open the Clear app and choose Health Pass.
- Tap Get Started if it’s your first time setting up a Health Pass. If not, tap Change.
- Choose a venue from the list, tap a category to locate options, or if you have a code, tap the option to add that code.
- Select a screening option from vaccinated or (if permitted by local law) not vaccinated to link to a recent negative covid test.
- To activate your pass, make sure each item is check-marked including reviewing and agreeing to the item. Know this before you go.
- Once active, tap the OPEN HEALTH PASS button.
- This option remains grayed out if you have not reviewed and agreed to all the listed items in the checklist.
- Your pass opens for that specific event. It has a limited time for use, so you’ll need to go through the steps again if you don’t use it before that expiration.
How to use the CLEAR Health app for travel, restaurants, and other venues
Hawai’i has most recently adopted the requirement of a vaccine or health “passport” for entry onto the islands. Some restaurants, gyms, and other public facilities in Hawai’i are also looking at the option for consumers to show proof of vaccination or a negative test for entry.
For travelers 18 years and older, using CLEAR’s Health Pass app helps expedite the entry process via your incoming flight. You also are allowed to skip quarantine upon arrival.
Once you have uploaded a negative test or have linked your vaccination card to CLEAR (see steps above), you’ll be on your way to a quicker, safer entry into Hawai’i.
Be sure to complete this last additional step if entering Hawai’i. Connect your Health Pass to the Safe Travels Hawai’i profile before checking in at the airport.
As our world evolves and accommodates COVID-19 regulations, there will undoubtedly be more destinations that adopt the CLEAR Health App for a seamless, digital, and safe screening process.
The popular OpenTable app has recently partnered with CLEAR to provide easy access to a digital vaccination card for establishments that request proof of vaccination to dine indoors.
The thought of being screened everywhere we go is a daunting scenario, but it may be a temporary necessity in the best interest of our global health. OpenTable and CLEAR make it easy.
How it works
If you’ve made a reservation on OpenTable for a restaurant that has vaccine requirements, you’ll notice a CLEAR banner on the reservation’s confirmation page.
Click on that to be instantly linked to your CLEAR profile. This provides the restaurant with your Health Pass showing your digital vaccination card.
It’s a simple, efficient, and contactless way to show your necessary health documents. It won’t slow you down or kill your vibe when trying to get in the door for a table, either.
Sports and other venues
Within the CLEAR Health Pass app, you’ll be greeted not only with a travel tab (e.g., for partner airlines and approved destinations) but also options that include events and sports.
They have a handful of participating sports arenas, including my home team of the Seattle Seahawks and the Sounders.
If you plan to attend a sporting (or other) event that partners with CLEAR, you can easily select your venue and see their specific entry requirements.
- If they require proof of vaccination, great! Your digital vaccine card is already loaded and linked within the app.
- If they require an additional negative COVID-19 test, you can also pair your results within the app and have that available digitally as well.
With each event you plan to attend, you’ll have to attest that you are aware of their requirements. Once you do, you’ll be granted a unique “green” health pass specific to that event.
Your picture displays with a unique QR code. Additionally, a countdown at the bottom is also be shown. This eventually expires if not used.
Each time you create a green Health Pass for a different venue or travel encounter, the app asks to scan your face as part of its biometric identification. This is to confirm that it’s you accessing your account.
This confirms the level of security that CLEAR has promised from the beginning.
Visit the CLEAR website to learn about other ways you can link your health information to the app.
If you’re a California, Louisiana, New York, Virginia, Hawaii, or some Maryland counties resident, had your vaccine at a SMART Health Card supported system like Walmart, Sam’s Club, and CVS, or have used another provider listed on their website, there may be specific steps for you to follow when setting up your CLEAR Health Pass app.
Other in-app options offer more features within your CLEAR account, such as skipping lines at certain sports and event venues.
There’s also CLEAR Plus which offers access the CLEAR’s airport security skip-the-line access. Since I don’t travel all the time, I’m more than satisfied with being one of their “free members.”
Alternative apps for your covid vaccine and other health information
To date, there are a handful of other apps (besides CLEAR) where you can store your health information. More recently, this includes your COVID-19 vaccine card.
Earlier this year, Europe introduced its Green Health Pass. This became their widespread, go-to app for storing and displaying vaccination status.
The U.S. has yet to designate a single app or company as the primary interface for storing digital vaccine cards, but here is a list of apps that are gaining popularity.
CommonPass (CommonHealth for Android):
CommonPass is a free and easy app for presenting verifiable proof of your vaccination status or COVID-19 test results.
If you are vaccinated or are tested through a compatible vaccine administrator or test site, you can link your vaccination status or test results straight into CommonPass with a QR code. This code needs to be provided to you from that approved administrator or test site.
As of September 2021, you can use CommonPass for travel on United, Hawaiian Airlines, Lufthansa, and Jetblue. The app is constantly working on expanding its network of approved providers and travel destinations, so stay tuned for regular app upgrades.
VeriFly started as a simple app for displaying COVID-19 test results needed for travel purposes. It has since added the ability to store and show your proof of vaccination for specific airlines.
Use VeriFly with American Airlines, Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia, and Japan Airlines to date.
Other apps such as VaxYes and Airside work very similarly to CLEAR but at a slightly lower level of security. CLEAR’s additional photo identification requirement has made it the leader of the pack and more widely accepted among businesses, venues, and airlines.
Adding your covid vaccine information straight to your phone
If you’d prefer to forego downloading an additional app to your phone, you may be able to save your digital covid vaccination straight to your Samsung Galaxy, Android, or iPhone.
For many of us, it’s a good option to leave our paper vaccine cards at home and use our phones instead, especially as more and more places and events require proof of vaccinations!
How to add your COVID-19 vaccination status to your Samsung Galaxy smartphone
Samsung has partnered with The Commons Project (creator of CommonPass/CommonHealth) to authenticate and upload your vaccination information (from an approved pharmacy or healthcare provider) into the Samsung Pay app.
Once the uploading process is authenticated, you get a unique QR code. This code can be used for various work, travel, and leisure purposes when needed.
If this option interests you, keep your eye out for additional healthcare providers that get added to their approved list. As it stands, Samsung claims that this service is already accessible for millions of Galaxy smartphone consumers.
- Download the CommonHealth app.
- Follow the prompts to access your COVID-19 vaccination record.
- Once it has been authenticated and approved, click Add to Samsung Pay.
- Once you open Samsung Pay, find the COVID-19 Vaccine pass button and tap on the QR code symbol next to it.
- Swipe up to the Samsung Pay tab from your phone’s home screen, and your digital vaccine record is a card in its carousel. Tap on the Use card button to show your vaccine record.
How to add your COVID-19 vaccination status to your Android smartphone
- Using your Android phone, visit the website, app, email, or text from your vaccine provider. If you don’t have that info, reach out to the provider and see if they offer a way to view your vaccine status or certificate digitally.
- Locate your COVID-19 vaccination information and look for a button or banner that says Save to phone.
- Tap Save to phone.
- If you’re asked to save with Chrome or Google Pay, choose Google Pay (even if you don’t have the Google Pay app on your device.)
- You may need to set a lock screen on your phone for added security and to help protect your personal information.
- Read through the consent information and tap I Agree.
- You are asked if you want to add an icon to your home screen. For quick and easy access to your COVID vaccine information, create this shortcut.
- Your COVID card is now stored locally on your device.
- If you want to access your COVID card on multiple devices, repeat these steps on each device.
How to add your COVID-19 vaccination status to the iPhone’s Health app
If you are an iPhone user, you have a few different options for storing your vaccination card in a digital format. See this article for more details and step-step instructions: How to add your digital vaccine record to the Wallet or Health app on iPhone and Apple Watch.
If you receive your vaccination from a pharmacy or directly from your provider, ask if they can provide a secure QR code as part of your record.
Look for a button or banner that says Works with Apple Health.
Access to this allows you to scan and upload your immunization records directly into your Health app. Additionally, depending on the vaccine provider, this QR code could also be used to store your vaccination record in your Apple Wallet app (look for a banner that says Add to Apple Wallet.)
Of course, not all providers or healthcare facilities are fully integrated for this yet. My own PCP’s office is not an approved option within the app to date, but the much larger medical center that I work for is.
With iOS 15, Apple’s Health app makes it even easier to upload and store vaccination records, including COVID-19.
Connect your health provider and add your COVID-19 vaccination to Apple’s Health app
- Open your Health app.
- Tap on the Browse tab at the bottom.
- Scroll to the Health Records category and tap Add Account.
- From there, you can search and select your provider or organization for which you wish to connect your vaccination records or search for providers that integrate with Apple Health.
- You can search by name, network, or even by your health provider’s location.
- The app also shows suggestions.
- If they are listed, check that the clinical records include your immunization records. Then, tap Connect Account.
- Enter your username and password for your health provider (or sign up if you don’t have an account) and follow the prompts to finish setting this up.
Want another option to store your COVID vaccine records?
A less secure option is simply taking a picture of your CDC card and saving it to your photos. To add an extra layer of protection, add your image to your Hidden albums.
This is located at the bottom of all other albums when in the Photos app. It only displays when you want it to.
Though this isn’t ideal, and I wouldn’t recommend this be your only backup, it’s still an excellent option to have a copy of this info if something happens to your physical card.
A third and slightly more secure option is to scan your card into your Notes app.
- Open the Notes app and create a new note.
- Tap the camera button and select Scan Documents.
- Snap a picture of your CDC card and tap Save.
- Tap the three dots in the upper right corner and choose Lock.
You’ll be asked to provide a password, verify it, and give a password hint. If you want, you can also enable face or touch ID as well.
Take-Aways from using CLEAR’s Health Pass app (or others)
COVID-19 has made it necessary to show additional health information in a way that we’ve never had to before. It makes perfect sense to take advantage of all the available health technology in today’s world.
CLEAR’s Health Pass app is an excellent option for storing and displaying necessary medical documentation for work, travel, and leisure. There are various other apps if you’re looking to find a way to keep your vaccination card digitally.
Regardless of which option you choose, having a secure digital copy of these important records prevents the unwanted event of a lost card.
So if you want a more accessible, contactless way to display any health records or testing results, download an app and prepare to get digital.