Massachusetts residents are getting a couple of new options on their phone this week to show they’ve gotten the COVID-19 vaccine, as more communities and businesses move to make vaccination a requirement for certain activities.
The first — released Monday by Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration — provides individuals and businesses a scannable code that links directly to the user’s documented vaccine history.
The second — coming later this week from the City of Boston — gives users a simpler way of showing a photo of their COVID-19 vaccine card on their phone.
The new tools come as several cites and towns in Massachusetts, including Boston, move to require proof of vaccination for certain indoor venues, such as restaurants, fitness centers, museums, and other entertainment and event settings.
Baker has repeatedly said his administration has no plans for any statewide vaccine requirement for indoor venues like restaurants. However, an administration official said Monday that the state’s new tool is a standardized option for individuals and businesses where such requirements are in place.
The City of Boston will require patrons aged 12 and up show they’ve gotten at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose in order to enter certain businesses starting this Saturday, as part of the first phase of their new policy. Many local restaurants and indoor performance venues, like TD Garden, have already independently begun requiring the vaccine.
Here’s what you need to know:
From the state: My Vax Records
Baker’s administration released a new online tool that plugs into the state’s vaccination record registry, allowing residents to access their history and generate a digital COVID-19 vaccine card that can be saved on their phone.
However, the state’s new tool — My Vax Records — isn’t an app.
Rather, it can be accessed online at www.myvaxrecords.mass.gov, where individuals are prompted to enter their name, date of birth, and a cellphone number or email that may be associated with their vaccine record.
(Residents should probably first try using their cellphone number; according to a state technology official, the “vast majority” of Massachusetts Immunization Information System records are associated with a cellphone number, while most do not currently include email addresses.)
After creating a four-digit PIN number, users will get a text or email with a website link to their vaccine record, which shows their entire immunization history, including any COVID-19 primary series shots and boosters.
The digital record also includes a SMART Health Card with a QR code that businesses using an accompanying SMART Health Card Verifier app can scan and view the user.
iPhone users can save to the QR code to their Apple Wallet and Health app. Android users can take a screenshot of the QR code or save it to their Google Pay or Samsung Pay wallets via the CommonHealth app (iPhone users can also of course screenshot the code to store on their phone).
State officials released a video tutorial of the process Monday. There are also additional tips for saving the smart card to one’s phone on the state website.