Mass. Joins States Offering Digital Access to Vaccination Records

By Eric Wicklund

Massachusetts has joined about a dozen states in creating on online portal for residents’ COVID-19 vaccination history.

Governor Charlie Baker announced on Monday that residents are now able to use a QR code to access the My Vax Records tool on the COVID-19 SMART Health Card platform, offering a digital repository for vaccination status. They can enter their name, birth date and e-mail address or phone number to create the account, which offers the same data as a paper record.

“This system provides an optional way that residents can access their vaccination information and a COVID-19 digital vaccine card,” the governor’s office said in a press release. “This will provide residents with another tool to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination, should it be requested by businesses, local governments, or other entities.”

Commonwealth officials said they worked with the VCI, a coalition of public and private organizations that developed the open-source SMART Health Card Framework, to synch the digital platform with the Massachusetts Immunization Information System (MIIS), the official database used by healthcare organizations to record vaccination data. The platform only lists Massachusetts-based information for residents, so anyone who receives a shot outside the state needs to contact his or her healthcare provider to have that information included.

Massachusetts joins California, Colorado, Hawaii, Louisiana, New Jersey, New York, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Puerto Rico in offering residents digital access to their vaccination records. The service is also available through CVS, Rite Aid, Walgreens, Walmart and Albertsons.

The program is the latest effort by state and federal governments to develop digital health tools and platforms for easier access to healthcare information and services. The digital health card can be accessed on mHealth apps stored on a smartphone, such as the Apple Wallet.

Eric Wicklund is the Technology Editor for HealthLeaders.