The Illinois public health agency announced a new way to check your immunization status: with a QR code.
The SMART Health Card allows users to download a QR code, which can be saved to any phone or Apple Wallet, to confirm vaccination status. The QR code can be scanned at businesses, events and other participating venues.
The state announced the digital health cards shortly before the city of Chicago began requiring proof of vaccination for all indoor dining, fitness and entertainment venues, effective January 3.
Some businesses and state agencies in the Springfield area require proof of vaccination from their employees.
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“As a way to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and keep people safer, some companies, events, organizations and others are choosing to require proof of vaccination before entering,” said Ngozi Ezike, Director of the Department of Health Illinois Public, in a statement.
To obtain a SMART Health Card, log in to the state’s Vax Verify website and complete a one-time identity verification process. According to IDPH, the state uses Experian for identity verification.
The IDPH highlighted immunization records are kept confidential and only the person, or the person’s parent or guardian if the person is under the age of 18, can access their immunization history.
The electronic health card does not replace the printed COVID-19 vaccination record cards from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Businesses, or anyone with a smartphone, can download the SMART Health Card verification app from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store. The app allows users to scan vaccination record QR codes to verify vaccination.
In the US, SMART Health Cards can be issued by CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, Albertsons, and Rite Aid, as well as various hospital systems and other healthcare providers. Illinois joins 11 other states and Puerto Rico in issuing these digital records.
SMART Health Cards is a product of SMART Health IT, a project of Boston Children’s Hospital.
This article originally appeared in the State Journal-Register: SMART Health Card Illinois Digitally Verifies COVID Vaccination Status