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Minnesota launches digital vaccination record

Minnesota is among the latest states to introduce a secure digital option for residents to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19. Using an app called Docket, Minnesotans can now view and share their immunization records with local businesses, restaurants and other public venues where COVID vaccination is required.

“We recognize the importance of having a secure and convenient way to find, view, and share your and your family’s immunization records, such as needing records for school or child care,” Minnesota Department of Health, Infectious Disease Division Director Kris Ehresmann said.

Starting Sept. 17, residents who were vaccinated within the state can use the Docket app to pull up their records through the Minnesota Immunization Information Connection (MIIC), a confidential system that stores electronic immunization records. The app then gives users the option of saving and distributing a PDF document of the record as they see fit.

“The Docket app gives Minnesotans a digital option to access their immunization history in MIIC, check what vaccines you or your children may be due for, and see what vaccines you may need in the future,” Ehresmann said. “This is vital to making sure people are protected from preventable diseases.”

The app also gives state residents a faster way to access their immunization records.

The volume of recent records requests to the health department “means it is taking weeks, not days, for people to get their vaccination record back, but Docket gives an option for people to more directly and quickly access their immunization information,” Ehresmann said.

Efforts to provide U.S. residents with digital versions of their immunization records have picked up steam in recent months as employers and retail businesses increasingly require such proof. Reports of individuals providing fake COVID vaccine records have pushed states to launch their own verification apps to give residents a state-verified digital option for proving their vaccination status.

This week, Virginia announced the addition of QR codes to its vaccination records. The code, which can be scanned using a smartphone, provides the same information as the paper records – however, since it is digitally signed by the Virginia Department of Health, it cannot be altered or forged. Virginia is the fifth state to adopt the secure SMART Health format, following Hawaii, California and others.

About the Author

Shourjya Mookerjee is an associate editor for GCN and FCW. He is a graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park, and has written for Vox Media, Fandom and a number of capital-area news outlets. He can be reached at [email protected] – or you can find him ranting about sports, cinematography and the importance of local journalism on Twitter @byShourjya.

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