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How to get your proof of COVID-19 vaccination ahead of the holidays

Nov. 23, 2021 Updated Wed., Nov. 24, 2021 at 7:35 a.m.

COVID-19 vaccine cards.   (La Verne Police Department)
COVID-19 vaccine cards.  (La Verne Police Department)

With the holidays practically here, you might need to prove you are vaccinated in more than one way depending on where you go in the state.

There are more ways to prove you’ve received a COVID-19 vaccine than just your vaccine card, although this is the easiest way.

The Department of Health has launched a new digital vaccine record system called WA Verify for residents to easily access their digital vaccine record with a unique, scannable QR code.

Businesses or large event venues can begin using QR code readers to verify patrons’ vaccination status with this new technology, as long as their technology is compliant with patient data protection standards set by the Department of Health.

Using your name, birth date and an email or phone number that might be attached to your COVID-19 vaccine records, you can access your digital vaccine record, which can be saved to a smartphone, at any time. Users create a PIN to unlock their record when uploading it onto their smartphones.

Once you have the QR code, you can take a screenshot of it or download it to an app on your phone.

Vaccine records could be tied to an older phone number or email address, especially if you received your COVID vaccine at your health care provider who might have older contact information attached to your electronic health record.

WA Verify is a digital vaccine record for people who were vaccinated against COVID-19 by a provider in the state not affiliated with a federal agency. Vaccine records from the Department of Defense, Veterans Affairs and Indian Health Services are not included in the WA Verify system yet, although the Department of Health is working to incorporate those records into the system.

“We’re working with them in the background to find a way to have access to those records but we don’t have a time estimate on that,” Les Becker, deputy secretary for innovation at the Department of Health, told the Spokesman-Review.

Anyone who was vaccinated in Washington state is in the WA Verify system, so even an out-of-state resident could find their records through the system depending on where they were vaccinated. However, if a Washington resident was vaccinated in Oregon or Idaho, for example, those records are likely not yet in WA Verify. Becker said the department is working with neighbor states to incorporate those records.

WA Verify is just one way to access your COVID-19 vaccine records. The MyIRmobile website is also a way to access vaccination records through the state that can be printed out or saved digitally. If you were vaccinated by your health care provider, a copy of the electronic health record showing the vaccine can also work as proof of vaccination.

Businesses and venues can require a specific kind of vaccine verification, and it is important to check what kind of proof of vaccination a venue requires before attending an event. The Department of Health is encouraging businesses and event venues to accept multiple forms of vaccine verification, Becker said.

The key to using electronic vaccine verification is to prepare to use it in advance. Vaccine records do not automatically upload into WA Verify or MyIRmobile, and it may take a few days for vaccine providers to upload those records to the system.

“We do encourage people to give this some time before trying to use it,” Becker said.

If you cannot access your vaccination records through WA Verify or MyIRmobile, check the FAQ from the Department of Health or call (800) 525-0127, then press #.

Here’s a look at local numbers

The Spokane Regional Health District reported 85 new COVID-19 cases and seven additional deaths on Tuesday.

There have been 1,079 deaths due to COVID-19 in Spokane County residents.

There are 82 patients hospitalized in Spokane with COVID-19.

The Panhandle Health District reported 169 new COVID-19 cases and five additional deaths.

There have been 698 deaths due to COVID-19 in Panhandle residents.

There are 76 Panhandle residents hospitalized with the virus, and Kootenai Health has 60 COVID patients hospitalized currently.

Arielle Dreher's reporting for The Spokesman-Review is primarily funded by the Smith-Barbieri Progressive Fund, with additional support from Report for America and members of the Spokane community. These stories can be republished by other organizations for free under a Creative Commons license. For more information on this, please contact our newspaper’s managing editor.

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