(The Center Square) – Illinoisans wanting to carry around COVID-19 vaccine proof on their smartphones can now utilize a trademarked program networked with the state-run Illinois Vax Verify System.
The Illinois Department of Public Health Wednesday announced their Vax Verify portal now includes a program called SMART Health Card.
“The SMART™ Health Card allows users to download a QR code, which individuals can use to easily confirm their COVID-19 vaccination status at businesses, events, and other locations,” IDPH said in a statement. “The QR code can be downloaded or kept in Apple Wallet and presented for COVID-19 vaccination verification.”
While the department says immunization records are kept confidential and only the individual, or the individual’s parent or guardian if younger than 18 years old, can access the vaccine history, in some jurisdictions such information is being required to be shared with others in order for people to take part in certain activities.
Starting Monday, the city of Chicago and Cook County are requiring patrons 5 years old and older going into bars, restaurants, gyms or entertainment venues to prove they’re fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
“Businesses wanting to verify vaccination status can download the Commons Project SMART Health Card Verifier App on Apple AppStore and Google Play store,” IDPH said.
“As a way to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and keep people safer, some businesses, events, organizations, and others are opting to require proof of vaccination before entering,” IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said. “The ability to download a QR code will help residents confirm their vaccination status when requested.”
State Rep. La Shawn Ford, D-Chicago, told The Center Square showing vaccine proof to take part in certain activities is not going to stop the spread.
“A vaccine card does not guarantee that the person will not be spreading the virus,” Ford said. “And if we’re using the vaccine card as a way to say that the virus is not going to be spread in the restaurant or in the venues where they’re required, then I think we’re sending off a false sense of security.”