With a new software update, Apple has created a way to access your COVID-19 vaccination card from your phone.
Apple’s iOS 15.1 operating system allows users to add “verifiable” COVID vaccination information in the Wallet app, making it easier to provide proof of vaccination as opposed to carrying a physical card.
Here’s how to add your vaccination information to your digital wallet:
- You must have a QR code or downloadable file from your vaccination provide to start. Your iPhone must also be updated with to iOS 15.1 software
- If you have a QR code, open the camera app and hold it over the code. When a Health app notification appears, tap and select “Add to Wallet & Health”
- Using a downloadable file, pull it up on your phone and tap the download link. Then, select “Add to Wallet & Health”
For more information, click here.
Apple said the company cannot see the vaccination card nor how it’s used. The card is only stored to the phone itself and not on the cloud.
The company added that vaccination cards cannot be shared with other users on a separate device. Once added, users are required verify their identity using Face ID, Touch ID or a passcode.
For Android users, Google has also created a way to store vaccine information in Google Pay or Chrome. For step-by-step instructions, click here.
If you want to keep using only the physical COVID vaccination card, what should you do if it ends up lost or damaged?
While the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may have its logo on COVID vaccination cards, it does not readily have the information available to print off new ones. Instead, state health departments and health providers will, and that’s where the search for a new card should begin.
Here’s who individuals should contact if they need to get a new copy of proof of their COVID vaccinations, according to the CDC.
Health Care Providers
The very first step that individuals should take if they lose or damage their cards, or if they never received a card, is to contact the health care provider that administered the shot.
Many companies, including CVS and Walgreen’s, will keep records of those vaccinations and can help individuals get new cards. Other providers, including hospitals who run mass vaccination clinics, may also be able to help.
Last week, the White House announced children ages 5 to 11 will soon be able to get a COVID-19 shot at their pediatrician’s office, local pharmacy and potentially even their school, detailing plans for the expected authorization of the Pfizer shot for elementary school youngsters in a matter of weeks.
State Information Systems
If you are unable to contact your provider, then your state health department should be able to help through their Immunization Information System. Vaccination providers are required by law to report COVID-19 vaccinations to IIS and other systems.
Illinois’ records can be accessed through this portal.
Indiana records for COVID-19 vaccinations can be accessed through an online portal as well.
V-Safe or VaxText
If a person is in need of proof of vaccination to receive a second or third dose of COVID vaccine, then the V-Safe and TaxText programs can also help.
Those programs, designed to obtain information on how individuals have fared after receiving their vaccines, will also have vaccination information available to individuals who signed up, according to the CDC.
If all else fails, individuals can contact their local health departments for more information on how to proceed if a card is lost or damaged.
Something to Remember
Officials do warn individuals that they may not receive a paper card to replace the one that has been lost or damaged. Some states only provide digital COVID vaccination proof, but those policies differ by state, and individuals should contact their health departments for more information.