As Apple continues to expand the utility of its digital wallet, a new feature allows iPhone users easier access to their proof of vaccination.
The latest software update iOS 15.1 released Monday now supports adding “verifiable” COVID-19 vaccination information as a digital vaccine card directly in the Wallet app, making it more convenient to provide proof of inoculation status without carrying a physical card.
Various states have already launched their own apps and services for the digital storage of COVID-19 vaccination proof — especially those that have implemented vaccine mandates, like California and New York. Apple already offers iPhone users the ability to store vaccine and test results in its Health app, but the company says this update will make it quicker to access.
Here's how you can get that digital version for yourself:
How to Add Your COVID-19 Vaccine Card to Apple Wallet
You must have either a QR code or a downloadable file from the provider from which you received your vaccine to begin the process. Your iPhone or iPod Touch must also be updated to version iOS 15.1.
If you have a QR code, open your phone’s camera and hold it over the code. A Health app notification should appear if you have an eligible code. Tap that, then select "Add to Wallet & Health" to connect the record to those respective apps.
For users with a downloadable file, pull it up on your phone and then tap the download link. Select "Add to Wallet & Health" to connect the record.
Apple also provides detailed step-by-step instructions on its website.
How to Add COVID Vaccine Proof to Apple Wallet From Health App
If you’ve already connected your vaccine record to the Health app, it’s easy to include in Apple’s Wallet, too. Simply open the Health app on your device, tap "Summary" and then select "Add to Wallet."
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Can I Add a Physical COVID Vaccine Card to My Apple Wallet?
Apple currently says it supports the storage of a “verifiable version” of vaccine and test result records, meaning it needs to be in a format that has the right digital signature.
Just having a picture of a physical vaccine card without a proper QR code, therefore, will not work to add it to your Apple Wallet. However, many providers have ways to access one of the two required forms of verification if you don’t have it already.
Pharmacies including CVS, Walgreens and Walmart allow people who received a vaccine at one of their locations to request a vaccine record online by logging into their account online or by visiting any store — not necessarily the one at which they received their shot. Stop and Shop, Hannaford, Big Y, Price Chopper, Wegmans, Rite Aid and Costco also provide vaccine records in-person at any location.
You will have to verify personal information to get the record.
Individual states or other health care providers have varying policies for requesting a copy of your COVID-19 vaccination record, which you can often find on their websites. California, for instance, has a dedicated website for getting a QR code and digital copy of your vaccine status.
Is a COVID Vaccination Card in Apple Wallet Secure?
Apple has vowed strict privacy protocols on data around users' health.
The company says it cannot see the vaccination card or how it's used, and it only stores the card on the device, not the cloud. Apple also says a vaccination card cannot be shared with other users on another device.
To view the pass once it’s been added, users have to verify their identity through either Face ID, Touch ID or a passcode.
What Else Can I Add to My Apple Wallet?
Apple announced at the beginning of September that it was rolling out a feature this fall for people in certain states to attach drivers' licenses and state IDs to their Apple Wallets.
The list of states includes Arizona, Connecticut, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma and Utah, according to the company. The exact rollout timeline is still unclear.
The digital identification cards will provide access on iPhone and Apple Watch to use at security at participating airports, Apple said in its announcement.
Can I Add a Digital COVID-19 Vaccination Card on Android?
Google has also said users can store digital versions of their vaccine card through its Chrome or Google Pay apps. Users can pull up digital proof of their vaccine in a similar method as on iPhone, then tap "Save to Phone."
If the health care provider's record is eligible to be saved to an Android phone, an option for saving it with Chrome or Google Pay will appear.
Google provides detailed step-by-step instructions here.