How to add them to your smartphone


As the delta variant of the COVID-19 virus runs rampant throughout the U.S., a renewed push is being made to get more Americans vaccinated.

President Joe Biden said last week he would require federal workers to verify they have been vaccinated or undergo regular testing.

Similar policies have been introduced at some local governments, while some companies are requiring their employees to get the vaccine to return to the office. Even Broadway said it will make the same request of theatergoers before attending a show.

Of course, you could bring the COVID-19 vaccine card verifying those details with you, which brings not only the annoyance of carrying it everywhere (try fitting that into a wallet), but the fear you wind up losing it.

Thank goodness we have something else in our pockets that can assist: our smartphones. Here are a few ways you can keep your vaccine card handy:

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Take a picture

Seriously, that’s it. If you go this route, consider placing it in a hidden album so it can’t be viewed from your library. This also avoids the awkward scenario of having to scroll through the abyss of your camera roll to pull up your vaccine card.

On an iPhone, after you take a picture of your card, go to the Share button on Photos, then select Hide. The image will be placed in a Hidden album you can find by tapping Albums, then scrolling to Utilities.

If you use a Google Pixel or Samsung Galaxy smartphone, you can create locked folders to store your COVID-19 vaccine card.  

Scan it to your smartphone

If you’re using an iPhone, scanning your COVID-19 card using the Notes app adds a little more security. To do this, start a new note, then tap on the camera. Go down to Scan Document and add your card with the built-in scanner. You can then choose to lock it with a passcode. Any time you tap on the note, it will ask you to type a passcode to view.

There’s the app option

Some state governments have launched apps where users can access their vaccine card information. For those who live in New Jersey, for example, the state has the Docket app where residents can view their vaccination status. And for New Yorkers the Excelsior pass provides residents quick access.

There are other digital options, too. In June, Walmart announced it would provide access to digital COVID-19 records through Walmart and Sam’s Club accounts.  

Also, if you own an Android device running the Android 5 operating system or later, you can store your vaccine card as a pass. 

Meanwhile, the service VaxYes allows users to add their vaccine card information and have it transformed into a digital passport which can be added to wallets on Google Pay or Apple Wallet. The company says all data is encrypted and its service is compliant with HIPAA, which governs how health care professionals must store and protect your data.

Follow Brett Molina on Twitter: @brettmolina23.



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