Oregon Working to Join States That Offer Electronic Vaccine Verification Tool

Oregon is working to join the list of states to give its residents a digital form of proof of COVID vaccination to simplify the process when businesses require it for entry, The Associated Press reported Tuesday.

The tool would be voluntary, and allow residents to enter their name, date of birth, phone number, or email to access their proof of vaccination, according to KGW-TV.

Oregon does not currently require proof of vaccination to enter businesses, but cities like Portland have a growing number of businesses that require it for entry to restaurants and events. One of the biggest places in the state that requires proof is the Moda Center, where the Portland Trail Blazers play.

The state health department is currently testing the tool and reportedly expects it to launch in the spring of 2022.

Health officials also said the tool is modeled after similar tools available in Washington and California, among other states, where a resident enters their information and receives a QR code business owners can scan to see the person's name, date of birth and vaccination status.

"While CDPH [California Department of Public Health] recommends that vaccinated Californians keep their paper CDC card in a safe and secure place, we recognize that some people might prefer an electronic version," said California State Epidemiologist Dr. Erica Pan in a press release on the day of the launch in June, according to KGW-TV.

Mary Kurilo of the American Immunization Registry Association told Oregon lawmakers that California and Washington are two of the nine states that currently offer some form of digital vaccination card, with about 20 others are developing similar systems.

"Really the goal is to create one consolidated record for every individual within a jurisdiction," she said.

Washington launched its digital tool earlier this month, with the QR code able to be saved to a digital wallet or other apps like Apple Health or Google Pay, according to The Seattle Times.

One of the most popular digital options is the SMART Health Card, a proof of vaccination program that was developed by a group of private and public technology and healthcare companies called the Vaccination Credential Initiative (VCI), which includes Microsoft, Salesforce, Oracle, the Mayo Clinic and others, according to Forbes.

For more reporting from The Associated Press, see below.

Oregon, COVID Vaccine Card, QR Code
A woman shows a Covid 19 negative test QR code on her phone as an Corsica Ferries boat leaves the port of Bastia on June 9, 2021 on the French Mediterranean island of Corsica. Oregon is working to become the tenth state in the U.S. to provide a digital proof of vaccination card to its residents that would use a QR code to show a business owner someone has been fully vaccinated against COVID. Pascal Pochard-Casabianca/AFP via Getty Images

Oregon is testing a model of the tool with "communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19," health officials said.

The new tool comes as more businesses require proof of vaccination to enter. King County, Washington's most populous county that includes Seattle, has required proof of vaccination for indoor dining and events and large outdoor gatherings since October.