Walmart to offer customers a digital COVID-19 vaccine record

Walmart’s tool will allow people to print out and share proof of their COVID-19 vaccination.

Walmart has announced the creation of a "digital wallet" that can be used by its customers for COVID-19 vaccine records and other health information. It is only for those who got their COVID-19 vaccine through Walmart, a Walmart-run vaccine event or Sam's Club pharmacy.

Dozens of countries and states across the US are creating digital ways for people to carry around proof that they have been vaccinated against COVID-19. Walmart's plan will have their customers store it in a pharmacy account on Walmart.com or Samsclub.com.

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Walmart's vaccine record can also be printed and shared. The company said the vaccine record is based on a free digital version of the cards given to people by the CDC after being vaccinated against COVID-19. 

The digital wallet, like the card, will list a person's name, date of birth, date of vaccination, vaccine manufacturer, vaccine lot number and location where they received the vaccine. 

Through the account, the vaccine record can be accessed as a QR code, and Walmart said plans are underway to expand the platform so that families can bundle their records together, particularly for those under 18. 

Dr. Cheryl Pegus, executive vice president of Walmart Health & Wellness, said the tool gives people a way to privately keep track of vaccine information on their smartphone or computer while also "encouraging them to take ownership of their health data by determining exactly where, when, or if they share their documentation." 

In a statement, Walmart said it is using the Vaccination Credential Initiative's SMART Health Cards standard, allowing for records to be shared with "other compatible services if someone chooses, following all HIPAA privacy guidelines."

On Wednesday more than half of all EU member states began issuing COVID-19 vaccination passports for travel under the EU's Digital COVID certificate. Germany, which started the process on June 1, has already issued nearly five million vaccination passports. 

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