BOSTON (State House News Service) — Having trouble downloading your new state-issued vaccine passport? If you served in the military and got one or more of your shots from a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs clinic you may be out of luck for now.
Gov. Charlie Baker on Monday rolled out a new tool that allows residents to access their vaccine history and download a digital vaccine card, with a QR code, that can be stored on smartphones to show proof-of-vaccination for businesses that require it.
The system draws from the Massachusetts Immunization Information System, into which all providers in Massachusetts, including pharmacies like CVS and Walgreens, must report vaccinations. However, Veterans Affairs facilities, like the one in Bedford, do not report into the MIIS system.
An administration official told the News Service that while the VA does not participate in MIIS the governor's technology team has been working with the federal government to import data for use in the system.
"We're continuing to engage with them to get the most recent updates," the official said.
The News Service inquired about availability of VA information after one veteran said they could not access their COVID-19 vaccine or flu shot information through the website set up by the state. The veteran said he had been vaccinated at a VA clinic.
Baker, during a press conference after meeting with Democratic leaders at the State House, said, "We do have VA data," but he did not say whether that information was complete.
The state's website informs users, "If you need a record of vaccines you received from the federal government or in another state, you'll need to contact whoever administered those vaccines."
The website has a portal that can be used to request an update to someone's vaccination status in the MIIS, which could be used by someone who received one or more shots from a provider out of state. Requests for status updates may require users to submit a copy of their vaccination card and a letter from their health care provider.
Written by Matt Murphy/SHNS