Officials have recommended that state residents be ready to present the barcode when asked.
Among Californians who have overcome the challenge of obtaining the proof of their shot, the vaccine record QR code provided to them can become a handy tool to use in everyday life.
The barcode may be requested at restaurants, bars, cafes and other similar locations.
As a result, officials say that one of the easiest ways to keep the vaccine record QR code handy is to simply take a screenshot and store it in the device. The barcode can’t simply be read using a regular quick response barcode scanner. Attempting to do so provides only a long string of symbols and letters, followed by an error message reading “no usable data found.” According to officials, this was done on purpose.
The quick response code is meant to act as digital proof of having received the vaccine and provides confirmation through “SMART Health Cards.” In this way, the user’s privacy is protected, but proof of having received the shot can still be provided when necessary. Reading the barcode requires a special application called the SMART Health Card Verifier app.
Businesses using the app can scan the vaccine record QR code to ensure that a customer has had their shots.
“This isn’t a bug — we did this to protect your information and privacy,” explained California chief technology innovation officer Rick Klau in a blog post. The app was originally launched earlier this month, shortly after the state made its digital vaccination record system from The Commons Project available to residents.
The verifier app can be downloaded from the app store by anyone who wants it. This makes it easy for any business who wants to use it to verify their customers’ vaccination status to obtain it and start scanning. That is the only feature the application provides.
Successful scanning of the vaccine record QR code produces a green box that says “verified”, in addition to the name of the individual to whom the barcode applies, and that person’s date of birth. The green box needs to be clicked in order to view the name and date of birth. Otherwise, all that appears on the screen is the green “verified” box. The app user can also check where and when the vaccine was obtained as well as which one was received. This is the identical information available on the paper record card.