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California has launched a COVID-19 vaccine verification system that provides digital replicas of the traditional wallet-size paper cards, in an effort that officials say will make it easier for residents to supply proof of inoculation if needed.

The new portal to access electronic records, officials said, is not the same as a vaccine “passport,” which has become politically controversial, but rather a simple convenience that offers residents an alternative to the physical slips they might not want to carry around or may have lost.

Residents aren’t required to obtain the electronic records, officials stressed, and there are no settings where the state mandates residents provide proof of vaccination as the sole option for entry.

But in the wake of California’s economic reopening, it’s possible individual businesses or venues — or even county-level health officers — might opt to impose vaccine verification in certain cases, making a digital option all the more attractive.

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California unveils system to provide digital COVID-19 vaccine records
California Will Roll Out Voluntary Digital Vaccine Card Portal