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Google Launches New Digital COVID-19 Vax Cards

Google is opening up Android’s built-in pass system to let Android users store a digital vaccine card, which it calls a COVID Card, on their phone. The feature will originally roll out in the US, and it will depend on support from healthcare providers, local governments, or other organizations authorized to distribute COVID vaccines. The feature will also support storing COVID test results.

According to a Google support page, for vaccinations, your COVID Card will show information like when you were vaccinated and which vaccine you received. The card can be saved from your healthcare provider’s app or website as well as from texts or emails sent to you.

Google recommends that you add a shortcut to the card on your home screen and will offer the option when you save your card to your device.Google says that the card won’t be saved in the cloud and that it won’t use the information you provide for advertising purposes, but it does say that it will collect some information, like how many times you use your card and on which days. Users won’t have to have the Google Pay app downloaded to save and access cards.

The company is making it easier for people to save their vaccination status digitally on their phones, though whether you’re actually able to use the feature or not will still depend on your healthcare provider or government. Some states, like New York and California, have implemented their digital vaccine cards, but Google version could streamline the process for other authorities. In the U.S, only a few states have active vaccine certification apps. Many others have either outright banned vaccine passports which have become a politically loaded term or are considering doing so.

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