A person holds a phone to a scanner to show their vaccination card

Photo: Suwan Banjongpian (Shutterstock)

With a handful of cities and many private companies proof of vaccination is now required for the admission of patrons, you will likely need to show someone your COVID-19 vaccination card at some point. Unfortunately, these cards are too large to fit in most wallets and pants pockets and are likely to be lost or damaged if shuffled – which is why you may want to keep a digital copy on your smartphone instead.

So what options do you have to easily (and securely) digitally store your vaccination records?

Take a picture of it

The easiest way is to take a photo of your vaccination card and keep it in your photo archive. It will likely be visible in your library or photo stream by default. So if you want more privacy, there are a few extra steps you need to take to hide it.

On iOS, tap the share icon under the photo and select Hide> Hide Photo from the popup menu to put the image in your hidden folder. This album can be found under the Album tab> Utilities> Hidden. You can also go a step further and top your Hidden Album. hide Settings> Photos. Uncheck the Hidden Album option – all you have to do is reenable it if you want to see your photos later.

If you have a Samsung, you can Create a safe folder for your photos this is unlocked with biometrics. Enable this on your phone Settings> Biometrics & Security> Secure Folder. Then select your vaccination record photo, tap the More icon and select Move to safe folder.

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You can also archive pictures that you don’t want to access often in Google Photos. Just select the photo and tap More> Move to archive. You can find them later at Library> Archive.

Use a password manager or note taking app

Most password managers have secure document storage. So if you use one of these services, you can keep vaccination logs behind a secure login and access them from any of your devices. Other notes and Apps for scanning documents– Adobe Scan and Evernote for example – can be good alternatives as you at least have to log in to access your saved images.

On iOS, you can even use Notes to password-protect individual scanned items. Open a new note, select the Camera> Scan Documents and scan your vaccination card. After you’ve saved the scan, click the three horizontal dots and tap the Lock button to set a password or enable biometrics.

Download your state’s digital documents app

A number of states support health record-specific apps that residents can use to save and access their digital vaccination cards: New Jersey and Utah Use Routing slipwhile New York has Excelsior Pass. Others have enabled storage in general digital document apps – for example LA Wallet in Louisiana, now supports COVID-19 cards. California residents can sign up at get a link to their digital vaccination record, which can be saved in Google Pay or saved as a screenshot and kept as a photo.

There are also apps like VaxYes which are not restricted to certain states. And Samsung Galaxy users can download CommonHealth for storing vaccination records and add the card to Samsung Pay, while general Android users can choose to keep their vaccination cards in Google Pay.