SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The California Department of Public Health on Friday announced it will offer residents a digital record of their coronavirus vaccination that they can use to access businesses or events that require proof of inoculation.
The state’s public health and technology departments said the tool will allow Californians to access their record from the state’s immunization registry. It will show the same information as the paper cards issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to document coronavirus vaccinations.
“While CDPH recommends that vaccinated Californians keep their paper CDC card in a safe and secure place, we recognize that some people might prefer an electronic version,” said California State Epidemiologist Dr. Erica Pan. “And if one of the state’s nearly 20 million vaccinated Californians misplaces their paper card, the Digital COVID-19 Vaccine Record provides a convenient backup.”
To access the information, users will input their name, date of birth and email or phone, and they will be asked to create a 4-digit PIN. The record will include a QR code and users can save it to their phones.
Following a drop in coronavirus cases and rise in vaccinations, California this week lifted a slew of pandemic-related restrictions. Vaccinated people are no longer required to wear masks at most indoor locations, though the unvaccinated still must do so. Everyone must continue to wear masks in some places such as on mass transit and in health facilities.
Businesses can operate on an honor system in terms of who must wear masks, require everyone to wear face coverings or use a vaccine verification system.
This week, state regulators approved rules allowing fully vaccinated employees the same freedoms on and off the job, though employers can choose to keep everyone masked — vaccinated or not.