Virginia Department of Health Offers QR Codes to Check COVID-19 Vaccination Status | New
The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) announced on Thursday the addition of QR codes – a type of barcode that can be scanned with smartphones – as a way to safely check the vaccine status of those who have been vaccinated against COVID -19 in Virginia, according to a September 16 release.
QR codes – short for “quick response” – are commonly used in retail, logistics and other industries. The technology allows anyone to show proof of vaccination with a digital or printed QR code instead of a paper card, and without the need for an app.
As more employers and businesses respond to calls from President Joe Biden (R) and Governor Ralph Northam (R) to demand that employees and customers be vaccinated, QR codes, VDH said, help improve the consistency and security of immunization information while protecting individual privacy.
A person vaccinated in Virginia can visit vaccinate.virginia.gov to get their free vaccination record with a QR code, which can then be saved to a phone’s image gallery, printed on paper or stored in a compatible account, the statement said.
QR codes contain the same information as paper records, but in a format that offers more security and efficiency, they said. Since the QR code is digitally signed by the Virginia Department of Health, the release says the record cannot be altered or tampered with. QR code information is only available if and when the person chooses to share it. Businesses and employers who choose to verify an individual’s immunization status can scan their QR codes with the Free SMART Health Verifier app. Individuals do not need to download an app to use a QR code vaccination record.
Virginia is now the fifth US state to adopt the SMART Health format for QR codes, giving individuals what VDH has said are reliable and verifiable copies of their immunization records in digital or paper form using open and interoperable standards. . The framework and standards were developed by VCI, a coalition of more than 800 public and private organizations, including the Mayo Clinic, Boston Children’s Hospital, Microsoft, MITER, and The Commons Project Foundation.
QR codes are available to anyone whose immunization record includes a working phone number and is on the Virginia Immunization Information System (VIS), the release said.
Almost all doses administered in Virginia are reported to VIIS, including those donated by pharmacies, doctor’s offices, health service clinics, federally approved health centers, and community immunization centers. Some doses given outside of Virginia to residents of Virginia may be in the VIIS. Doses administered directly by federal agencies such as the Department of Defense or the Department of Veterans Affairs are not reported to VIIS. Someone whose file cannot be retrieved automatically can call 877-VAX-IN-VA (877-829-4682, TTY users call 7-1-1) for assistance.
With more than 10.2 million doses of vaccine administered to date in Virginia, more than 58% of the population is fully vaccinated, according to VDH officials.
Anyone 12 years of age or older can be vaccinated now. To find free vaccines nearby, visit vaccinate.virginia.gov or call 877-VAX-IN-VA (877-829-4682, TTY users call 7-1-1). Support is available in English, Spanish and over 100 other languages.