With iOS 15.1, Apple debuted a brand new feature related to the COVID-19 pandemic. It allows you to store your proof of vaccination directly in your Apple Wallet, making it easy for you to access and present if needed in locations that require proof of vaccination. The iOS update offers some options that let iPhone owners keep a verified copy of their COVID vaccine cards handy. Note these general instructions can vary depending on your location and your vaccine provider.
What You Need
Official COVID-19 information from your vaccine provider
- Use the QR code
- Use the downloadable file
- Show your verification, if needed
Apple lets you store your provider’s vaccine and test records within the Wallet or Health app or both. Before getting started, make sure you find out how your vaccine provider stores your vaccine information and the method it uses to give you that information.
Apple offers alternative ways to show verifiable proof of COVID-19 vaccinations. You can use a QR code or an official health record, and store and present it either from the Health app or Apple Wallet. You can scan the QR code with their camera, tap the Health app notification, and add it to the Wallet and Health apps. Or you can download a verifiable health record from your provider and add that to the Health and Wallet apps.
If you already have your vaccine record in the Health app, you can just add it directly to Wallet. The Wallet card shows your name, which COVID vaccine you received, the dates of your doses, the health care provider, and a QR code.
Selected states, providers, and pharmacy chains already use an Apple-compatible framework for verified vaccination records, including California, Hawaii, Louisiana, New York, and Virginia, as well as some retail pharmacies and electronic health records vendors.
Participating pharmacies and retailers include CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, Stop and Shop, Hannaford, Big Y, Price Chopper, Wegmans, Rite Aid, and Costco. These retailers let anyone who received a vaccine from any of their outlets request an electronic vaccine record online. You must either log into your account online or show up at any store. Be prepared to show your ID and some personal verification information.
Note that you can’t store COVID-19 test results in Wallet right now. In our testing, the health app also did not record booster shots. If you have an Apple Watch paired to your iPhone, the vaccination card gets added there too, if your watch is running WatchOS 8 or later.
Use the QR code
Some providers can give you a QR code that you can scan using your iPhone to extract your vaccination information.
Sure, you can use your Camera app to photograph the front and back of your vaccination card, but that is not considered proof of vaccination, as you can edit and otherwise tamper with that photo.
Vaccination and test result records are downloaded in a verifiable format much the same way as a registered digital signature, only in this case, signed by the vaccine provider. Verifiable health records have a checkmark in the Health app that ensures they have not been tampered with.
Step 1: Open the Camera app and point the rear-facing camera directly in front of the QR code on your computer screen.
Step 2: When the QR code appears in the Camera’s viewfinder, your iPhone will recognize it and bring up the Health app. Tap the Add to Wallet and Health button. Your vaccination record will then appear in both places.
You can view and display the card at any time in the Wallet app. The card shows your name, vaccine type, dates of the doses, the provider, and the QR code.
Use the downloadable file
You can download and store verifiable vaccination and test result records in the Health app.
Step 1: Depending on how your health provider operates, you can also request a downloadable health record of your COVID-19 vaccine information.
Step 2: Tap Add to Wallet & Health to add the record to the Health app and the Wallet app.
Show your verification, if needed
Now that your vaccination record is safely tucked away in your iPhone, here’s what to do if you ever need to use it.
Step 1: If you own an iPhone model that supports Face ID, double-click the side button. For iPhones with a Home button, double-click the Home button.
Step 2: Find your vaccination card in the Wallet app, and tap it. If needed, authenticate with Face ID, Touch ID, or passcode.
Step 3: Present the QR code to the reader, or you may have to verify your identity via a driver’s license or photo ID.
Step 4: Conversely, if you want to remove your vaccination verification from Apple Wallet, just pull up your vaccination card and tap the three-dot button at the top right. On the resulting page, tap the Remove Pass button. This removes the card from the Wallet app as well as your Apple Watch.
Apple consistently reassures its iPhone customers about the security and privacy of their vaccine information — as well as other data stored in its Wallet and Health apps. Vaccination information is stored on the device, not in the cloud, and Apple never sees or has access to this personal data. Vaccination card information cannot be shared with other users or devices. The only way to access, view, or display vaccine verification is via Face ID, Touch ID, or passcode.