COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker: Google Digital Vaccine Card Features, How to Sign Up

COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker: Google Digital Vaccine Card Features, How to Sign Up
Google is introducing an exciting new feature that should help many users with their COVID-19 vaccination and test cards. Photo : Lukas/Unsplash

Google is introducing an exciting new feature that should help many users with their COVID-19 vaccination and test cards.

The tech giant plans to update its Passes API so users can now store a digital copy of their vaccination card on their Android devices. The feature will roll out initially on the United States before coming to other selected countries.

The pandemic brought in a new lifestyle that comes with a different set of rules. Right now, one of the biggest "essentials" when going out of your house is the COVID-19 vaccination card. Stores, shops, and other establishments rarely let you enter without one!

Unfortunately, a four-by-three-inch card is easy to get lost. It could also get folded, wet, and worn after daily use.

Google plans to make your life a lot easier with their new and updated Passes API.

Google Digital COVID-19 Vaccine Card Features

As of June 30, developers from healthcare organizations, government agencies, and other organizations authorized by public health authorities could access and submit a digital version of certified COVID vaccination results or test information.

Bloomberg said that if a digital version of the COVID card is submitted, users can download this to their device. The card will have a scannable QR code that establishments can use to verify your vaccination.

Google assured its users that the new COVID card is designed with privacy and security. It highlights three points:

  • Storing Information: The user's COVID-19 card and test information are stored on the Android device. Google does not retain any copy of it. If a user wants the COVID card on multiple devices, they have to store it on each device manually.
  • Sharing Information: Users have the freedom to show their COVID cards to others. Google said that information on the user's card will not be shared through various services, third parties, or targeting ads.
  • Securing Information: Users are required to add a Lock Screen when storing their COVID-19 card on the Android device. This is for added security on the user's personal information.

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How to Sign Up for COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker

As previously mentioned, the feature should be available in the United States starting June 30. Google said the feature will eventually be added to other countries but does not specify the name of the countries and the date of release.

To sign up for the Google digital COVID card, you need to have an Android device running on Android 5 or higher. You also need an active Google account linked with the Google Pay API.

Google said the feature will let you store your COVID card but does not specify how to upload your details. You might need to either:

  • Contact your health care organization to submit to Google the details of your vaccination result or
  • Manually input your personal information while Google generates the card.

These are, however, merely guesses for the new feature. Android users might have to wait a little longer until Google drops the official instructions on opening the digital COVID card.

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