You could soon be able to officially store your COVID vaccination card digitally on your phone, thanks to an update Google pushed out today. By updating the Passes API on Android, Google is allowing vaccination and test cards to be stored on Android phones in the near future.
Using the updated Passes API will allow developers from healthcare organizations, government agencies, and organizations authorized by public health authorities to distribute digital versions of COVID vaccine cards. These digital cards can be stored on phones with a simple shortcut on your home screen that can even be accessed for offline use.
Google says that COVID digital cards are simply stored on individual devices, so if you want to access it from multiple phones, you would have to manually store it on each. Storing a COVID card on your phone requires that you have a secure lock screen enabled, plus you may have to use a password, PIN, or biometric method to access it.
Google does not store a copy of this card and will not share it with services, third parties, or for targeted ads.
In Google’s blog post for this news, they suggest that a COVID vaccine card may be accessed through Google Pay at some point. However, they also made it clear that the app will not be required for cards to be stored on your phone.
Should providers begin rolling this out, we’ll try to let you know.
(Of course, you do like many of us and take a photo of your card or scan a copy in Google Drive to be accessed at any time. This is, obviously, more official than that.)