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Oregon rolls out electronic COVID vaccine card option

Oregon has joined several other states in providing the option to download a digital COVID vaccine record on phones and devices.

PORTLAND, Ore. — The Oregon Health Authority now has an option for people vaccinated against COVID-19 to download an electronic version of their vaccine cards.

Physical CDC-issued vaccine cards are distributed to vaccinated patients as proof of immunization, but Oregon has been collecting electronic records throughout the process. Now people can request that electronic record on a state website.

How to download electronic vaccine card

OHA released a video explaining the process step by step. 

Start by going to the state's website. People will need to input their first and last name, birthday and a cellphone number or email address—that contact information must match information given to providers during vaccination.

Requesters then must create a PIN for verification later.

"Choose a PIN that you will remember," OHA's explainer video said. "And don't use four numbers in a row or the same number four times."

Once people click "submit," they will either receive a text message or email depending on the contact method selected.

OHA will send a message containing a link that will remain valid for 24 hours. The agency encouraged people to check their junk or spam folders if they cannot find the email.

When people click the link, they will be directed to enter their PIN, and a QR code vaccine record will appear.

"It contains all the same information as your CDC vaccination card," OHA said. "If someone needs to verify your vaccination information, they can scan your QR code with a phone or other device."

To save the electronic record, people can select options to save an image to their devices or email it to themselves and loved ones.

Some iPhone and Android devices will also offer people the option to save electronic vaccine cards to their health or wallet apps. OHA said that may require devices have updated software.

Some experience issues

Some Oregonians have experienced mixed results with the electronic record request system. Some families have reported one spouse getting access to an individual record while the other spouse could not.

OHA emphasized the importance of information being submitted correctly. People must also have been vaccinated in Oregon for records to appear.

People experiencing problems in the process can contact Oregon 211 for help.

Other states, such as California and Washington, have had electronic vaccine cards available for a longer period. Washington's launched back in November, just before Oregon announced it was testing a similar tool, while California's has been around since June, 2021.

People vaccinated out of state can contact the health provider where they received the vaccine or go to the CDC's website of state contacts. Those vaccinated by a federal agency (i.e. Department of Defense or Veterans Affairs) will need to contact departments directly for records. 

RELATED: Washington state bill would criminalize selling, transferring fake COVID vaccine cards

RELATED: VERIFY: Is asking for your vaccination card illegal or a HIPAA violation?

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