In order to reduce the spread of COVID-19, many companies are requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination for their employees and possibly for their customers. Simply stating you got the shot will not be sufficient, but you can show proof of vaccination on your physical vaccination card or on your mobile device.
If you are looking to get vaccinated or tested for COVID-19, our team at Mira can help find a facility near you! Mira provides affordable access to doctor’s visits and urgent care centers for just $45 per month, including your preventative lab screenings and prescriptions. Try Mira for your whole family or your business!
How to Show Proof of Your COVID-19 Vaccination in 3 Steps
Getting vaccinated is an important step in reducing the spread of the COVID-19 variants, especially in areas of higher population density and for immunocompromised individuals. While you can use your physical vaccination card to show proof of vaccination, it may be easier to show proof of vaccination on your phone so you don’t have to carry your card around.
Many states have adopted specific applications or websites for their residents to show vaccine proof on the go. However, not every state has adopted these measures, and not every state uses the same program to keep track of vaccination records. Below we explain steps you can take to show proof of your vaccination status.
Step 1: Receive Your Vaccine Passport or Certification Card
A vaccine passport is a digital or paper form certifying a person is vaccinated against COVID-19. You should receive this physical paper card after you receive your COVID-19 vaccine from your vaccine provider.
If you receive a vaccine requiring two doses (Moderna or Pfizer), you should bring your vaccine card to your second appointment to ensure both shots are recorded. This “vaccine passport” may be necessary for international or domestic travel in addition to day-to-day errands to show you are fully vaccinated.
Step 2: Take a Picture and Make Copies of Your Card
When you receive your vaccination card, you should upload a picture of your card to an application and store your physical card in a place for safe-keeping. If you do not have a smartphone or if you plan on using a physical card for entry and verification, you can make a few paper copies of your vaccine card. Review our FAQs on what to do if you lose your vaccine passport.
Step 3: Upload Your Vaccine Card Digitally
There are many applications that you can use to upload your vaccination card to have on file digitally so you don’t need to worry about misplacing your physical card. Such apps are typically used in states without state-wide vaccination systems in order to comply with policies set by private businesses or event venues. For example, the State of New York developed the Excelsior Pass for residents to print their vaccine cards or to store on their smartphones digitally.
As of August 31, seven U.S. states have partnered with apps to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19. Many states use MyIR mobile, while Hawaii uses an application named AZOVA to compile their residents’ vaccination records.
Applications such as CLEAR, CommonPass, and VeriFly are just a few of the vaccine-tracking apps on the market for residents of states without their own vaccine tracking applications in place. Below we highlight some of the apps that you can use to store and access your vaccination card digitally.
CLEAR is a free application that allows you to verify your identity by uploading a photo of your government-issued ID card. Then, you can search for your vaccine provider or upload your CDC Vaccination Card and create a secured digital vaccine card to bring along on your phone.
Another health tracking application, CommonPass, enables you to access your vaccination status and lab results through their free application. CommonPass states that they even assess whether your records came from a trusted source and whether your health records satisfy the country’s requirements or state you want to enter.
With VeriFLY, you can show proof of age, business membership, citizenship, health status, travel reservations, and vaccination status on their application. The application claims to protect the individual’s privacy and keep the credentials and biometric data of the person on the device.
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VaxYes is another application to store your digital vaccine record to use for travel, leisure, by employers. VaxYes encrypts your data to ensure only your vaccination status is shared and no other personal health information. Your ID and credentials are matched with AI technology and state-level records to validate your proof of vaccination.
MyIR Mobile provides access to you and your family’s vaccination records. It is free to register and allows you to even print your records for physical proof, should that be required of schools, your employer, or any other establishment. The following have partnered with MyIR Mobile to compile vaccination records for their residents for easy access and to reduce administrative burdens of record requests.
- North Dakota
- West Virginia
- District of Columbia
In partnership with the Hawaii Safe Travels Program, AZOVA is an application where you can schedule an in-person or at-home COVID-19 test within 72 hours of your flight to Hawaii. Your results come back through the application as a certified health pass. With Azova, you can also upload your COVID-19 vaccination shared to the State of Hawaii without any other personal information transmitted.
Step 4: Understand State COVID-19 Vaccination Mandates
The federal government has only required vaccine mandates for military personnel as of mid-September 2021. Still, President Biden may soon sign an executive order requiring most federal workers and government contractors to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Some states have developed their own vaccination tracking systems as presented above, some have banned vaccination passports altogether, and some states have yet to establish either requirement or ban.
States that have yet to enforce a vaccination ban or requirement include Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, Nebraska, Louisiana, Mississippi, West Virginia, and many more on the east coast. If you currently live in a state that does not require vaccine passports, be sure to review the policies of another state of which you may be traveling.
States that Explicitly Permit a Vaccine Passport
Thus far, Hawaii, California, and New York permit vaccine passports and have systems in place for their residents to upload their COVID-19 test records or vaccination status. In Hawaii, the vaccine passport system exempts travelers from needing to be tested or must quarantine when traveling between islands. Review this Hawaii travel guide to each island’s vaccination requirements.
If your state does not have its own vaccine tracking application system in place, you can still provide proof of vaccination through the digital applications listed above, with your physical vaccination card, a picture of one or a screenshot of your proof of vaccination.
States with Vaccine Passport Bans
Below is a list of the states with vaccine passport bans and the associated legislation. In general, these states prohibit establishments from requiring proof of vaccination for entry, but many states differ in their policies.
Despite vaccine passport pans, unvaccinated individuals may still need to undergo regular testing, practicing social distancing, or complying with mask mandates depending on state and private business guidelines. Review the executive orders below.
- New Hampshire
- North Dakota
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
Showing Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Requiring proof of vaccination or proof of a negative COVID-19 test has become a new norm that has been met with mass confusion due to differing policies by state. Here are a few frequently asked questions to help.
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Is a vaccine required for international travel?
Vaccine requirements typically vary by country. You should review the policies in place for the country in which you wish to travel. Vaccine passports are required by several countries, including some in Europe, just like a standard identification passport. If you do not have proof of vaccination, you may be required to undergo COVID-19 testing regularly or remain quarantined in a country for a certain number of days.
What if I lose my vaccination card?
If you misplace your vaccination card, you should be able to go back to the pharmacy or establishment where you received the card. If you attended a mass-vaccination event, you should contact your state health department to receive a new card. Walmart and Sam’s Club provide digital vaccine cards if you have received your vaccination from one of their pharmacies.
Does it matter which vaccine I get?
Currently, three vaccines are authorized and recommended in the United States that have shown to be working against the circulating variants: Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, and Johnson & Johnson. Pfizer-BioNTech is recommended for those 12 and older, while Moderna and J&J are recommended for those 18 and older.
Johnson & Johnson only requires one shot to be fully vaccinated, while Pfizer and Moderna require two shots spaced either three or four weeks apart. It is a personal choice which vaccine is best for you. Read more about these vaccines here.
Is it legal to enforce vaccine mandates and passports?
Many states, as listed above, have made it illegal to require vaccine mandates; however, some states have opposing views. For years prior to COVID-19 outbreak, other types of vaccines, such as Flu, and Meningitis have been required to engage in some healthcare environments or attend some schools. Ultimately, the legality of a COVID-19 vaccine mandate varies by state but has been required for other vaccinations.
If my state has an app to show a vaccine passport, can I still show my physical vaccination card?
While your state may have adopted an application system for vaccination proof and health status, it is not the only way to show proof of vaccination. Those without smartphones can still use their physical vaccination card.
According to the Seattle Times, a copy of your vaccination record is valid if it is one of the following despite partnering with the MyIR Mobile system:
- A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 vaccination card, or a photo of one.
- A printout from the Washington State Immunization Information System.
- A screenshot or Certificate of Immunization Status from MyIR or MyIR Mobile.
- A verified electronic medical record printout from your medical provider.
As of September 2021, the federal government has not issued a vaccine passport mandate but has left it to the states to determine a policy. If you plan on traveling domestically, understand you may be subject to displaying proof of vaccination if you wish to enter a particular establishment or event. To show proof, you can utilize a digital vaccination card via app or state-based site, a QR code, or a physical paper copy.
The Mira customer service team can help you navigate affordable health care providers in your area. Whether you are looking for a COVID-19 test, vaccine, or annual preventative care, Mira has you covered. Try Mira today.
Ashley Brooks works in Healthcare Consulting and graduates with her MPH in September of 2022 from George Washington University, but graduated with her B.S. in Health Science from James Madison University in 2019. Ashley has been with Mira since June of 2021 and shares the passion for creating affordable healthcare coverage for all!