WA Launches Digital Vaccine Verification Tool

WASHINGTON — Washington state health officials have officially rolled out a simple tool to digitize COVID-19 vaccination records using a simple form and a QR code. As The Seattle Times reported, the state quietly launched WA Verify in late October, but the state held off on making a formal announcement.

In a news release Tuesday, the Washington State Department of Health unveiled the new digital verification option, which provides a scannable code that can be saved to smartphones and imported into the Apple Health app on iPhones or Google Pay on Android devices.

“More businesses, events, and employers are requiring people to be vaccinated. We ask that you respect the rules of the room and be prepared in advance to show the type of vaccination proof requested,” said Dr. Umair A. Shah, state Secretary of Health. “If you have plans to go to an event or want to grab dinner with a friend, please do not wait until the last minute to verify your vaccination status – prepare ahead of time by taking those steps today.”

Gov. Jay Inslee mandated vaccine verification rules for large events across the state earlier this month, and King County requires proof of vaccination status for a variety of indoor and outdoor events.

Washington worked with partners at Microsoft and officials in California, which implemented a similar verification system. Businesses and venues can scan the codes using the SMART Health Card Verifier app.

“I am excited to see Washington State offer verifiable vaccine records to its residents,” said Josh Mendel, chief architect of Microsoft’s SMART Health IT. “The fact that Washington has translated their system into over 30 languages and shared that content publicly on GitHub for other states to leverage is inspiring. When we created SMART Health Cards, we wanted to empower individuals with an open, secure, privacy-preserving tool to access their health records.”

Getting a digital record is optional, and previous methods to verify vaccine status will still be accepted.

Here are the four ways to provide proof of full vaccination status in Washington:

  • Original, copy, or photo of your CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card.
  • Verified electronic medical record printout from your medical provider.
  • Your record from the state’s immunization information system, which can include:
    • A Digital COVID-19 Verification Record from WAVerify.org, which includes a QR code that can be scanned by a SMART Health Card reader.
    • A certificate of COVID-19 Vaccination from MyIR Mobile.

Residents can sign up for WA Verify, find answers to frequently asked questions, and get help troubleshooting issues on the DOH website. Those who need help locating their vaccination records can get assistance by calling the state’s hotline at 1-800-525-0127.

Source: Bellevue Patch