Digital COVID-19 card

A traveler holds vaccine passport certificate to show COVID-19 vaccination status. The digital health certificate is required for international travel during coronavirus pandemic .

(The Center Square) – Massachusetts residents who are vaccinated against COVID-19 will have a new tool to keep track of their vaccination history, Gov. Charlie Baker said.

In a news release, the governor announced the launch of My Vax Records, a digital tool that will allow residents to store their COVID-19 vaccine card and vaccination record on their digital devices. The tool will allow an individual to access vaccination information similar to what is shown on a paper card.

According to the release, the new system works with the SMART Health Card platform and produces a QR code that is used to provide proof of vaccination. The Baker administration is not requiring residents to show proof to enter venues, but some cities are. 

The new tool can be accessed at MyVaxRecords.Mass.Gov.

Patrons of the system will be required to enter their name, date of birth, and mobile phone number or email associated with their official vaccine record. Users will then be asked to create a 4-digit PIN, and they will receive a link to their vaccine record.

The digital card shows the same information as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention vaccine cards, including name, date of birth, vaccination dates and what vaccine they received. The digital card’s QR code will make the information readable by a QR scanner, including associated smartphone apps according to the release.

Rep. David LeBouf, D-Worcester, said on Twitter the digital cards are now available and “if your online record [is] inaccurate or missing information please let me know.”

The SMART Health Card, the release reads, will be able to save the QR code to the phone, such as in the Apple Wallet. Users will have the ability to screenshot the information and save it on their phone or print the record.

The system, according to the release, follows national safety protocols for protecting personal information.

Once the user has access to their digital card, it can be used to provide proof of vaccination at businesses, local governments, and other places where proof of vaccination is asked to be shown, a requirement Republicans and many others say is a violation of privacy and personal freedoms.

The new tool, according to the release, works in partnership with the Massachusetts Immunization Information System, which serves as the official database of records accessed by health care providers in the state. 

The launch of the digital cards comes just days before Boston’s indoor mask vaccine mandate, B Together, is to go into effect. Boston Mayor Michelle Wu announced the requirement Dec. 20, 2021.

The mandate, which goes into effect Saturday, requires people ages 12 and older to have received at least their first COVID-19 vaccine in order to enter indoor facilities. The mayor’s plan is to have the requirement mandate full vaccination to enter facilities by Feb. 15.

“This step will help increase our vaccination numbers,” Wu said during the Dec. 20 press conference,, “which is the best way to keep our communities safe and thriving. Although Boston’s vaccination rates have been high, we continue to see serious disparities by race and by age, allowing omicron and new variants to spread in our communities."

Critics say getting vaccinated is a personal decision between and individual and their doctor and such requirements are illegal if not legislatively approved.

Associate Editor

Brent Addleman is an Associate Editor and a veteran journalist with more than 25 years of experience. He has served as editor of newspapers in Pennsylvania and Texas, and has also worked at newspapers in Delaware, Maryland, New York, and Kentucky.