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Need Proof of COVID Vaccination? The Best Ways to Keep it on Your Phone

August 11, 2021

You say you’re fully vaccinated? Prove it. As the Delta variant sweeps across the state,  a COVID vaccine check could become as common as an ID check for some businesses.

BAR New Haven, for example, starting Friday will require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test result dated with 72 hours from all guests. The New Haven dance club won’t be the last business to add a layer of protection to local and state mask mandates and safety protocols. In New York City, vaccination proof will be required starting Aug. 16 for dining, gyms and many indoor events.

“We’ve always known than indoor transmission is much greater than outdoor transmission,” says Dr. Ulysses Wu, Hartford HealthCare’s System Director of Infection Disease and Chief Epidemiologist.

So what’s the best way to prove you’re fully vaccinated?

Connecticut does not have an app like New York’s Excelsior Pass that produces a QR code businesses can scan to confirm vaccination. But state residents have ways to prove they’re fully vaccinated without having to carry their COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (Never carry the card with you!)

Here are two easy ways to keep proof of vaccination with you wherever you go:

Use Your MyChart App

Hartford HealthCare stores patient records in MyChart, a website with a companion app. (If you don’t have an account yet, click here.) Once you’ve downloaded the app (Apple iOS or Android), you’ll have access to your medical records, including COVID-19 vaccination.

After logging into the app:

  • Select Menu.
  • Scroll down to My Record.
  • Select COVID-19.
  • Select  “COVID-19 vaccination complete.”

From here, you can show both the dates and the vaccine manufacturer. At the bottom of the screen, you should also see “Download/Export,” which allows you to save a PDF version of you vaccination confirmation. You can also find results of recent COVID-19 tests, if needed.

Make a Digital Copy

Apple and Google eventually will have widely available ways to store verifiable vaccination records. Until then, you can take a photo of both sides of your card. If you take a lot of photos and fear you’ll never find them, scan the card using your phone’s camera:

  • iPhone/iOS: In the Notes app, create a new note and tap the camera icon. Give the photo an easy-to-remember name, then tap the three dots in the upper right corner so you can pin the note to the top of the screen.
  • Android: In the Google Drive app, hit Add, then Scan. The image will be saved as a PDF file. Look for the three dots in the upper left corner, then add it to Starred documents. Download it for offline access.

Third-Party Apps (Privacy Alert)

Some people use third-party apps like Clear or CommonPass at airport security or events requiring proof of vaccination. But your vaccine record card has personal information that keeps identity thieves in business. And Clear is among the apps that uses detailed scans of your face to verify information.

COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card No-Nos

Do not:

  • Laminate it, especially if you’ve only had the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines. You’ll also probably need the card again to record a booster shot later this year. (Notice the “Other” categories on the card.)
  • Post photos of your card on social media. Yes, you’re happy. But don’t celebrate by disclosing sensitive information, inviting identity theft.  (The card includes your name, date of birth, when you received the vaccine and the vaccine manufacturer.)
  • Carry the original with you.
  • Lose it. If you do, contact your vaccination provider. The State Immunization Information System (click here) at the Department of Health also can help. Or call 860.509.7929 and ask for your Official Immunization Certificate.