California Unveils Its Digital Vaccination Record

Keerthi Vedantam

Keerthi Vedantam is a bioscience reporter at dot.LA. She cut her teeth covering everything from cloud computing to 5G in San Francisco and Seattle. Before she covered tech, Keerthi reported on tribal lands and congressional policy in Washington, D.C. Connect with her on Twitter, Clubhouse (@keerthivedantam) or Signal at 408-470-0776.

California Unveils Its Digital Vaccination Record
Photo by Pablo Lara on Unsplash

California has unveiled a statewide digital vaccine record three days after the state reopened its economy.

While California has given individuals free reign on whether or not they want to wear their masks, businesses are still allowed to impose regulations such as requiring proof of a negative COVID test or proof of vaccination to enter their establishment without a mask.

The digital card is an alternative to the paper vaccination card. And signing up for it is voluntary.

Here's how it works: People can go to the state's website and enter their full name, date of birth and a cell phone number or email address, and create a four-digit pin used to access the record. The state will send a link to the digital record that will last 24 hours. It's a scannable QR code that shows what brand vaccine was given, and the dates of each dose.

Los Angeles County already partnered with Healthvana, a healthcare startup that repurposed its HIV results platform into a COVID-19 vaccination platform, where people can access a digital copy of their vaccination and put it in their Apple Wallet for easy access.

Shira Shafir, a UCLA associate professor of epidemiology said that the state's vaccination is more accessible and could encourage wider use because it doesn't require access to high speed internet or a smart phone.

"We know a lot of people in California don't have access to either of those things," she said.

Governor Gavin Newsom stressed earlier this week the system would not be a passport.

A program in Santa Ana, California to create voluntary digital vaccination records sparked protests in May.

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