As we all know, the COVID-19 pandemic has been one of the top concerns for many members within our community. Fortunately, vaccination has been an effective way to help protect individuals and reduce the spread of the virus. What you may not know is that recently, an executive order has required all federal employees to present evidence of COVID-19 vaccination. Additionally, many states have created regulations obliging individuals to present vaccination cards in order to access public establishments, such as restaurants, or public events. One of the easiest ways to have quick and easy access to your COVID-19 vaccination record is through a digital vaccination card.
Follow this helpful guide to learn more about the digital vaccination card and how you can have a copy available on your smartphone, for whenever you need it!
What are the benefits of getting the COVID-19 vaccine?
It’s important to mention that your current immigration status does not affect your eligibility for obtaining a COVID-19 vaccine. If you’re not vaccinated, we invite you to learn about the options available to you and some of the proven benefits the COVID-19 vaccine offers.
- They’re safe. The vaccines approved for use in the U.S. are developed based on innovative scientific research. They have gone through the necessary clinical trials and are subject to strict safety protocols.
- They’re effective. COVID-19 vaccinations have been proven to show a significant reduction in spreading the virus, getting infected and hospitalization.
- They allow you to resume a normal lifestyle. While many health officials still recommend the use of masks in public settings, many public establishments and events will require showing proof of COVID-19 vaccination.
Once you receive the vaccination, or if you’ve already been vaccinated, the easiest way to prove your vaccination history is by obtaining a digital vaccination card.
What is a COVID-19 vaccination card?
The COVID-19 vaccination card is an official document showing evidence that an individual has been vaccinated. This card contains important information regarding the vaccination, such as the date it was administered, the batch or brand of the vaccination, and the name of the vaccination site.
Vaccination cards can be distributed in both a physical and digital format. Per federal mandates and state regulations, many individuals will need to prove their vaccination status to their employers or when attending public establishments or events, so make sure to have your proof handy.
Once an individual has been vaccinated, they are given a physical paper vaccination card for their personal records. It’s important to take care of your physical vaccination records and ensure that they don’t get lost, stolen or damaged. One of the best ways to store a copy of your vaccination card is by creating a digital copy that can be easily stored and accessed on your cell phone.
How do I get a digital copy of my vaccination card?
As of date, the U.S. government hasn't implemented a standardized vaccine verification system and the available verification options vary state to state. New York and California have implemented state-wide vaccination verification protocols, however some states like Maryland have shown support for private-owned vaccine verification systems. It's also important to mention that certain states, such as Arizona, Alabama and Texas, have spoken out against government ordinances requiring vaccination evidence. Nonetheless, it's recommended to carry a copy of your vaccination record with you just in case.
Getting your digital vaccination card is a simple and quick process. Here are some of the options available to you, depending on which state you live in:
- Official State Digital Vaccination Card Services:
- California. The Golden State uses the MyVaccineRecord portal for all California residents and tourists. (Click the top right bar of the web page for content in Spanish).
- Hawaii. The Safe Travels website allows visitors and tourists traveling to Hawaii to upload their vaccination history. (Content is currently available in English, Japanese and Korean only).
- Louisiana. This state uses its current LA Wallet app to verify an individual’s COVID-19 vaccination history. (Content is in English only).
- New Jersey. The Docket app is New Jersey’s official app for obtaining a digital vaccine pass. (Content is in English only.).
- New York. The Excelsior Pass is the official app to obtain your digital vaccination card and access negative test results across the state of New York (Click the top right bar of the web page for content in Spanish).
- The following states have partnered with the mobile app MyIRMobile for quick access to digital vaccination records:
- Arizona, Washington D.C., Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Dakota, Washington, and West Virginia. You can download the MyIRMobile app on your smartphone. (Content is in English only).
If you are in a state that isn’t listed above, there isn’t an official digital vaccination card system currently in place. However, you don’t need to worry!
There are several ways you can save a digital copy of your COVID-19 vaccination card:
- Take a photo of your paper vaccination card using your smartphone. This is the easiest way to carry a copy of your vaccination card with you at all times. When taking a picture of your vaccination card, use sufficient lighting and keep a steady hand to ensure that the image is clear.
- Download the VaxYes app. This app will ask you to provide a photo of your physical COVID-19 vaccination record and will provide you with a free digital vaccination card that can be added to your digital wallet on Samsung or Apple devices upon vaccination verification. (Content is in English only.)
- If you got vaccinated at a Walmart, Walgreens, or Sam’s Club, you can get a digital copy of your vaccination card on their respective websites.
What do I do if I lost my vaccination card?
One of the main advantages of having a digital copy of your vaccination card is that you can always access it from a different device, even if you accidentally deleted it or lost your phone. If by any chance you lose your physical paper vaccination card and don’t have a digital backup, you will need to contact the vaccination center where you received your COVID-19 vaccine to request an official replacement copy.
Things to watch out for
1. Beware of individuals offering “immunity certificates'' through non-proven methods of boosting an individual's immunity response, such as homeoprophylaxis. These types of treatments are not endorsed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or any other trusted government agency. These unsafe practices can result in a loss of money, legal problems or worse, sacrifice your health.
2. Don’t share photos of your vaccination card on any social network. Remember, this document contains important personal information, such as your birth date, This information could be easily used by scammers if publicly available. While we understand that you may want to inspire others to get vaccinated, those vaccination card selfies can do more harm than good in the long run!
We hope that this guide has been useful to you and your family. If you follow the steps mentioned above, you should have no problems getting a digital copy of your COVID-19 vaccination card.
If you have any questions regarding any of the information presented here, feel free to contact us! The SABEResPODER team will always be there to help you out.