How to safely store your COVID vaccine card on your iPhone or Android phone

ByJason Knowles and Ann Pistone WLS logo
Tuesday, February 8, 2022
How to safely store your COVID vaccine data on your smartphone
You can safely store your Illinois COVID vaccine card information on your iPhone or Android phone using apps like VaxYes or as a photo.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- If you're tired of fumbling through your phone's camera roll and pulling out your ID when someone asks for proof of vaccination, there's ways to streamline the process in a secure way.

"Scrolling through to find the picture was always kind of anxiety generating when especially there's the people there people waiting on you," said Janet Hsiao.

When she's at an indoor establishment like a restaurant or a bar, Hsiao uses a QR code in her phone's wallet to verify that she's fully vaccinated.

"I click the power button twice and then the wallet shows up, right, so the first ones are my credit card. But the second card is my VaxYes card. So all I have to do is tap that and that and then it's right there," she said.

VaxYes works by uploading your vaccination card, license or state ID to the website first. Then you can generate a QR code and show it to an employee.

"They could use an iPad with a camera or an iPhone with a camera point that camera at the QR code," said Mohammed Gaber, the Founder and CEO of GoGetDoc.

Gaber said VaxYes also has security protocols in place if the employee wants to view your vaccination card information.

"Because this is HIPAA data, after all, so we don't want anybody pointing their camera at that QR code and getting the vaccination information," he explained. "But once they do that, then they can see the actual CDC card, they can see all the work that we've done to validate the identity of that person and the levels of verification."

VaxYes and another platform, Clear, are both free. They said their servers are encrypted so you information is safe, but warn users that falsifying vaccine information is a federal offense.

Clear, which is also an identification platform used for faster entry at TSA checkpoints in airports, generates a QR code and health pass through its app. Like VaxYes, you upload your vaccination card, driver's license or state ID.

"You show that very kind matre d, that host, your green screen, right and with the Clear logo picture of you and that green screen or blue screen, they can know that you've satisfied the vaccine requirements without you having to fumble for cards, fumble for your driver's licenses or, frankly, share information that you don't want to share with that other person they can easily and quickly verify," explained Catesby Perrin of Clear.

The State of Illinois recently rolled out the SMART Health Card. Just register on the state's Vax Verify portal with a password. The system asks specific questions to confirm your identity and to keep your information private.

Your vaccination data is then available to share by using a QR code.

Hsiao said her QR code comes in handy when she's out and about.

"I've never had any issues. They, they look at it and I'm the quickest way to get through the door. Yeah, my husband still takes his picture and takes a sweet time," she said.

Security experts say you should always research any platform before uploading your information.

You can also just save the photo of your vaccination card as a favorite or PIN it to the top of your phone's notes.


Add to Apple Wallet

How to store your vaccine card in your Apple Wallet

You can now add your vaccine card to your Apple Walllet

Apple Support Portal: COVID-19 vaccination and rest result records on iPhone

Vax Verify


"Favorite" it in your photos

Create a folder with an image of the front and back of your card

"Pin" it in your notes app so it's always at the top

How to carry your COVID health data on a Smartphone

SMART Health Card

This is an app connected to Vax Verify and the State of Illinois that verifies information through healthcare provider, CVS, Walgreens, where you received your vaccine