[COLUMN] California’s digital COVID-19 vaccine record guidance

Angelina Johnson, 89, receiving the Covid-19 Vaccine at Downey Mega Pod, February 1, 2021. File photo by County of Los Angeles

Questions & Answers with Dr. Marc Concepcion, family physician

Q: How does the Digital COVID-19 Vaccine Record portal work?

A: The Digital COVID-19 Vaccine Record portal draws COVID-19 records from California’s immunization systems.

• Enter your name, date of birth, and an email or mobile phone number associated with your vaccination record, then create a four-digit PIN.
• If the information you submitted matches the official record, you will receive a text or email with a link to your digital COVID-19 vaccine record.
• Enter the PIN you created to view the record.

Q: How will my vaccine record be delivered?

A: When your vaccination record is found, you will receive a link delivered to the email or mobile phone number associated with the vaccination record. After entering your four-digit PIN, you will see your COVID-19 vaccination information including your name, date of birth, vaccination date(s), and vaccine manufacturer. You will also receive a scannable QR code confirming your vaccine record is authentic. See “Will my scanned information be saved?” below for more about the QR code.

Q: What if my record is not found?

A: If the information you submitted does not return a link:

• Re-enter your information making sure to use an email or phone associated with your vaccine record, and double check that your name and birthdate are correct.
• If your record still isn’t found, you may contact the COVID-19 Hot Line at 833-422-4255.

Q: What if my digital vaccine record is incorrect?

A: If the information on your digital vaccine record is not correct, for instance missing a dose or the wrong dates or brand, you may call the COVID-19 Hot Line at 833-422-4255.

Q: What if I made multiple vaccination appointments for multiple people with a single phone number?

A: If you are a parent or guardian and have created multiple appointments with a single phone number or email, enter the requests one at a time to receive separate links for each vaccine record.

Q: Will my information remain private?

A: Yes. Filling out the form on the portal does not provide instant access to your vaccine record.

• The link to the vaccine record requires a PIN that you create and is sent only to the mobile phone or email that is associated with your immunization record.
• Only you can decide how and if you want to share your record with others.

Q: Will my scanned information be saved?

A: No. The QR readers should comply with the SMART Health Card Framework.

• The guidelines and code of conduct only allow reading of the QR code and prevent storing of the data in the QR code.
• Only you can decide when to share your vaccine record or QR code.

Q: What should I do with my digital vaccine record?

A: You can take a screenshot of your vaccine record to store on your mobile device, save the QR code to your device’s camera roll, or print a copy of the record and store in a safe place.

• If you are at a venue that can read SMART Health Cards, present your copy of your digital vaccine record for scanning.
• If you lose your digital COVID-19 vaccine record, you can start the process over at the Digital COVID-19 Vaccine Record portal.

Q: What if I need to replace my vaccination card?

A: The portal provides a digital copy of your vaccine record. If you’ve lost your paper vaccine card, you may print out your digital record.

Q: Is this a vaccine passport?

A: No. You are not required to obtain a digital COVID-19 vaccine record.

• It is an optional means to obtain your COVID-19 vaccine information and is the digital version of your paper vaccine card. It is one of the options to show proof of vaccination.
• The State will not be implementing a mandatory passport system in California.

Dr. Marc Concepcion studied medicine at Western University of Health Sciences, completing his residency at UC Davis Medical Center. He has now been a provider for over 20 years as a family physician in Sacramento, emphasizing preventive medicine, nutrition and holistic health.

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