26-Oct-2021 (Tue) Wherein Apple made vax QR codes easier

iOS 15.1 was just released, and now you can store your SMART-Health QR code in your wallet, so you can access it from the lock screen, along with your event tickets! You have to re-scan your code to do it, though. Just point the camera at your QR code, let it open it in the Health app, and say OK.

The SMART-Health codes are getting more prevalent, too. As of a few weeks ago, Rick Klau figured that about 50% of the country have access to SMART Health QR codes now. They are supported by the state systems in CA, LA, NY and HI, but are also available to anyone vaccinated at CVS, Walmart, Sam's Club, or any health system that uses Epic or Cerner. And pretty soon now, all of Canada will be on this system too. Here's a full list of participating systems.

It would be great if there was a cheat sheet along the lines of, "my insurance is X, where do I click?" but that does not seem to exist.

Sadly, DNA Lounge is still the only nightclub in town that is actually going to scan that code, because literally everyone else is gleefully accepting photoshop forgeries of vaccination cards. Everyone else, including SFDPH, believes that scribbling your name on someone else's vax card in Comic Sans counts as proof of vaccination.

As a vaccinated person who would still prefer not to catch COVID-19, I remain unpleased about this situation.

Anyway, it's Halloween Week! Are you ready for our eight events over seven nights, and three different costume contests? And most importantly, have you seen our giant skeleton?

27 Responses:

  1. Ben Rosengart says:

    FWIW, I didn't have to rescan. I opened Health, and then followed a prompt to add the record to Wallet.

    • jwz says:

      Huh, weird. Mine was already in Health but I had to re-scan it to get that prompt to add it to Wallet.

  2. Michael says:

    It’s weird. Apparently BC’s QR code isn’t part of the standard, yet when I just scanned my own code it was added to the wallet.

    Anyway, removes the need for me to use the shortcut I created to pull up the note with the QR code in it.

  3. Dirk says:

    Completely unrelated, but I am so old, first I thought when reading the title and only the title, it would be an article about the old VAX VMS machines. Took me a second to get it right.

  4. lairdb says:

    Curious about thoughts on privacy implications of the QR content. I've quit going places that require scanning the DL, and the SHC is a little thinner, but still some PII and some meta.

    Also curious if DNA requires the card to come up Fully Verified vs. Partially.

    (Some EFF discussion here.)

    • jwz says:

      Aside from proof of vaccination, the QR code exposes no more private information than your drive'rs license does. We are a BAR. You already weren't getting in here without showing us your driver's license.

      So if you want to use "but muh freedoms" as an excuse to not patronize businesses that are doing that which is absolutely necessary to keep their staff and customers safe, good riddance I guess?

      On this, and a number of other issues such as coming out in favor of planet-incinerating cryptocurrency tax fraud, EFF can go fuck themselves. That organization has become a parody of what they once were, and I say this as a long-time and now-former donor.

  5. MattF says:

    My COVID verification QR code was captured by the camera app from a .pdf file generated from CVS vaccine records. The -camera- app sent the QR code to the health app and the wallet app. Not what I’d call super-intuitive, but yeah, it does work.

  6. jboy says:

    Do the giant skeleton eyes follow you round the room (i.e. motion tracking)? Or is it a random eye motion? Either way, it looks like a great setup.

  7. thielges says:

    Nice! You got one of those giant blinky eyed skels. One of my neighbors has one peering over their fence looming over the sidewalk. It is an impressive effect.

    I’ve seen some fairly lax checking of the CA vax QR code’s when out of state. Their scanners error out though showing a physical vax card is a good backup. But usually they just shrug and let me in. I’m guessing the whole world will finally standardize and be QR interoperable right about when the pandemic abates.

    Today I saw a new mask jerk ploy at the post office. The clerk asked him to put a mask on. He pointed to a water bottle and said “I’m drinking water”. I was hoping the clerk would tell him “sir, please step outside and finish your water and then come back with your mask on” but no go, she just served him.

  8. Elusis says:

    So my "COVID Certificate" from WA Dept. of Health features a big black check-mark and the text "Vaccination Series Complete!" No QR code. [sigh]

    Apparently, though, this happened. So that's fun.

  9. Eric says:

    Oh, so that's how you get the vaccine card to show up in Apple Wallet? I spent like 15 minutes trying to figure this out earlier before giving up.

    • jwz says:

      It is definitely not obvious.

      And what do you do if you don't have a desktop screen to point your phone camera at to scan the code?

      • Zach says:

        If you go to the CA Vaccine Record site on an iPhone and go through the mildly annoying little process to get your record, there's now a new "Add to Apple Wallet & Health" button that shows up on the page with the code. Tap that and it will import it directly without any scanning required.

        I think, in theory, other providers that know how to issue SMART Health QR codes (like Walmart, CVS, Kaiser, etc...) should be able to do the same thing, but the only one I've used is the CA state one.

  10. MC says:

    My only IOS device is an iPad, but nobody in Utah bothers to check for vaccination so I guess it's not an issue. Thanks for making your corner of the world a little safer.

    Philosphers are going to spend decades talking about our collective willingness to kill strangers.

  11. Gabe Kangas says:

    If you don't feel like opening your code on a second screen, as of iOS 15 if you take a screenshot of your QR code, open it in the Photos app, and press the random unlabeled button in the bottom right it'll highlight things in the image, including the QR code. You can tap on your code and "Open in Health".

    I'm not sure if it's easier than pointing your phone at another device, but it's another option.

  12. angled says:

    A week late to the party:

    In HK we have something similar (COVID-19 vaccination status in Apple Wallet, etc), but it also lists our identity document number (HKID or passport number) so that people can match the name with that ID if needed.

    How do you do that California? The screenshot you have above doesn't have anything other than your name.

  13. Dude says:

    Out of curiosity, does The Lounge have plans to check for boosters once the date of a person's second dose (or the J&J single) hits the six-month mark?

    I got my Moderna booster just yesterday and they gave me another card, which I keep in a waterproof lanyard with my first card. Eventually, I thought to see if it showed up on my digital QR code yet - it didn't. According to the FAQ page of MyVaccineRecord, under the "third dose" question:

    If you receive an Additional dose or Booster dose, it will not automatically reflect on your digital vaccine record. You will need to start over in the Digital COVID-19 Vaccine Record portal to retrieve a new QR code.

    We recommend waiting 14 days for your new dose to show up in the California Immunization Registry.

    As always, thanks for keeping your customers safe.

    • jwz says:

      I can't make predictions about what the world will look like six months from now, but if I had to guess, it would be that the state and federal governments will have declared the pandemic "over" by then, regardless of how many people are still dying.

  14. Chris says:

    > It would be great if there was a cheat sheet along the lines of, "my insurance is X, where do I click?" but that does not seem to exist.

    No links, but the closest thing I've seen:


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