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If you live in Illinois, you can now access your 'vaccine passport' from your phone

After registering your COVID vaccination with the Vax Verify portal, you're given a QR code that can be easily presented where vaccination is required for entry.
Credit: Adobe Stock
Person holding mobile phone showing vaccination status

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The Illinois Department of Public Health's Vax Verify immunization portal has undergone changes that have made it easier for businesses, events and other organizations to require proof of vaccination before entry, according to a release from the department.

The portal, a system that allows Illinois residents 18 and older the ability to check their COVID-19 vaccination record, has added the ability to assign a SMART Health Card to its users.

When you first access Vax Verify, you will be asked for identifying information such as your first and last name, date of birth and address that will be used to link your account with data from the state health department's I-CARE system, where a log of all vaccines administered in Illinois are kept.

The verification system, according to the health department, takes precautions to protect confidential health information by making users go through the identity verification process to access their immunization history.

Users must be 18 or older to create an account under the portal. However, legal guardians are able to add a child, minor or dependent onto their own Vax Verify profile. Only you, or your parent or guardian if you're under 18, can access your history. 

After verifying your vaccination record with the portal, you are assigned a QR code that can be downloaded, printed out or saved to your phone in apps like the Apple Wallet for easy access.

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Businesses, events and other locations can download the SMART Health Card Verifier App on the Apple AppStore or Google Play store, which allows them to scan the QR code and verify vaccination status before entry.