Digital COVID-19 vaccine records encouraged in Utah

Fears of fraud with physical vaccine cards leading to the change
Posted at 8:20 AM, Aug 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-22 17:23:36-04

SALT LAKE CITY — As bars, restaurants, and other businesses start requiring proof of vaccination against COVID-19, more are joining the trend.

Club Try-Angles in Salt Lake City is one of the latest Utah Businesses to require proof of vaccination.

"Hearing from our customer base, a lot of our regulars, they would feel safer if we required this," said Gene Gieber, the owner of the bar.

As proof, customers can present their physical vaccination record card, a photo of it on their smartphone, or use an app called Docket. It's available for both Android and Apple devices.

The Utah Department of Health says it has been working with them for a little over a year to give people access to their immunization records.

"This is a process called vaccine credentialing and it’s a way for you to get verification of your vaccine status, whether that’s for COVID or other vaccines," said Jon Reid, the Immunization Program Manager with the Utah Department of Health.

READ: Some Utah arts venues are requiring proof of vaccination to enter

To retrieve your vaccination record, you enter your first and last name, your date of birth, and your sex.

It will then send a pin to the phone number or email address that the health department has on file, which needs to be entered in order to access the immunization record.

"Since the health care provider is the one that inputs that information, we know it’s linked to you," said Reid.

Utah's Department of Health says it had audited the technology to make sure it's secure.

They're also making this push for digital proof to flush out any fakes.

"[Businesses] are using the information from the state registry over the COVID-19 card because there have been so many issues with COVID-19 cards, with people losing them, even some fraudulent ones out there," Reid said.

If your COVID-19 vaccination record does not show up in the system, you can go back to the health care provider where you got it and ask them to resubmit it.

You can also call the state's vaccine hotline (1-800-275-0659) if you need any extra help.

The Utah Department of Health told FOX 13 News it's working on a smart health card — kind of like a QR code — which they're hoping to make available in the Docket app within the next month.

They say this could make traveling internationally and gaining access to venues faster because people wouldn't need to read through the information to verify it.

As of Sunday (Aug. 22), Docket is only approved by the state health departments in Utah and New Jersey.

Other apps are available for other states to verify your vaccination status.

Clear offers a digital vaccine card on its app and to get it on there you need to submit a photo of your government-issued ID, a photo of yourself, and a photo of the front of your COVID-19 vaccination card.