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Hawaii will soon launch an app that will let you keep your vaccine card at home (probably)

Published: Sep. 8, 2021 at 12:55 PM HST|Updated: Sep. 8, 2021 at 5:13 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii will launch a SMART Health Card app Friday that will allow residents to store verification of their vaccination status in their phones.

The program comes ahead of plans to launch so-called vaccine pass programs on Oahu and Maui.

Patrons to restaurants, bars, gyms and entertainment venues will have to show proof of vaccination or negative COVID test results. Oahu’s goes into effect Monday, while Maui’s will launch Sept. 15.

The SMART Health Card is voluntary.

Residents will still be able to show their physical vaccination cards at businesses that require them.

In a news conference, the governor said the SMART Health Card is being built into the state’s Safe Travels website, which is being used for travelers to upload a photo of their vaccination cards.

Come Friday, the SMART Health Card will be an option at travel.hawaii.gov.

After a person uploads their Hawaii vaccination card and information to the website, they’ll get a QR code when verified from state Health Department records. Businesses can verify it with a separate app.

“Everyone who has a smart phone would be able to pre-verify their status and then anytime they need to prove their vaccination status, they can use their phone instead of using the vaccination card itself,” said Gov. David Ige.

The state has arrested several people who allegedly tried to fly in to Hawaii with fake vaccination cards and many businesses have complained that employees trying to verify vaccine cards would be impossible.

“The vaccine information provided by individuals will automatically be verified against the state vaccination database. This will help prevent the use of fake vaccination cards,” said Ige.

The state’s Information Technology head says businesses will not have access to the person’s private health information and verification should be quick.

“It should only take a few seconds to get verified so it won’t be a long time,” said Doug Murdock, Chief Information Officer.

“We know that not everybody will be get verified, but we think a high percentage will be able to be verified right away,” he added.

People who got vaccinated in Hawaii through federal programs, Veterans Affairs or the military may not be verifiable.

The Hawaii Smart Health Card is available on the Safe Travels website and businesses can use the Smart Health Care verifier app.

Officials say if someone uploaded their vaccine card through Safe Travels to fly, they’ll have to upload their card again for businesses.

Testing information is not available on the app, but the state hopes that can be added later.

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