RICHMOND, Va. -- Proving your COVID vaccination status is now as easy as scanning a barcode.
The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) has launched a new tool that will turn your vaccination card into a QR code that can be scanned to prove your status at retail stores, restaurants and more.
For anyone who is not familiar, a QR code (or "quick response" code) is a type of barcode that can be scanned with smartphones.
VDH said QR codes will help improve the consistency and security of vaccination information while protecting individual privacy.
Anyone who has been vaccinated in Virginia can visitvaccinate.virginia.gov to get their free vaccination record with QR code, which you can then save to your phone gallery, print on paper or store in a compatible account.
Because the QR code is digitally signed by VDH, they said it cannot be altered or forged. Information from QR codes is only available if and when the individual chooses to share it.
Businesses and employers that choose to verify an individual’s vaccination status can scan QR codes with the freeSMART Health Verifier App. Individuals do not need to download an app to use QR codes.
Virginia is now the fifth U.S. state to adopt the SMART Health format for QR codes.
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, MITRE, and The Commons Project Foundation.
QR codes are available to anyone whose vaccination record includes a working phone number and is in the Virginia Immunization Information System (VIIS).
VDH said nearly all doses administered in Virginia are reported to VIIS, including pharmacies, physician offices, health department clinics, federally qualified health centers, and community vaccination centers. Some doses administered outside Virginia to Virginia residents may be in VIIS.
However, doses administered directly by federal agencies such as the Department of Defense or Department of Veterans Affairs are not reported to VIIS.
You can call 877-VAX-IN-VA (877-829-4682, TTY users call 7-1-1) for assistance.