SALTZMAN: Easily store – and flash – your proof of vax on smartphone

Grassroots website easily adds your vaccine passport to Apple Wallet, Google Pay

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It’s not about showing your proof of COVID-19 vaccination – as restaurants, sports arenas and other businesses now require it at the entrance – but it’s a matter of how you show it.

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In fact, there is a “good”, “better” and “better” method.

The least desirable of all is to have paper receipts of proof of vaccination with you, to flash those who request it. Not practical and prone to wear, unless you laminate it. An appropriate receipt should include your name, date of vaccination, and product name (brand of vaccine) at the time of vaccination.

Then the best thing to do is take a clear photo of the vax receipts, which are stored on the only device you never leave home without. Almost nine in ten Canadians now own a smartphone, according to Statistics Canada.

But showing a digital photo means you have to scroll through your gallery to find the photo, and a facility guardian has to squint to read the information on your phone to make sure it’s legitimate, as well as to match them to your ID. It may take a long time. , however, away from your meal, movie, concert, practice or hockey game.

Instead, it is recommended that you upload your vaccination certificate with a QR (“Quick Response”) code – a square black-and-white barcode that someone can scan with their device – for you to access. quickly and safely to a building.

A group of knowledgeable volunteers have created a fast and secure way to add your official proof of vaccination to Apple Wallet (for iPhone) or Google Pay (on Android devices) with just a few clicks on their website.
A group of knowledgeable volunteers have created a fast and secure way to add your official proof of vaccination to Apple Wallet (for iPhone) or Google Pay (on Android devices) with just a few clicks on their website. Photo by provided /Basis: Vaccination receipt on mobile wallets / Ryan Slobojan.

If you haven’t already done so, each province’s Department of Health website allows you to enter your valid Medicare card information (with required numbers on the front and back) and download a PDF file on your device.

But wait, it’s even better.

ADD IT TO APPLE WALLET OR GOOLE PAY

A group of savvy volunteers have created a fast and secure way to add your official proof of vaccination to Apple Wallet (for iPhone) or Google Pay (on Android devices) with just a few clicks on their website.

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That way it’s an easy-to-access ‘map’ that you can select to show off to the company, rather than scrolling through endless gallery photos of your friends, kids, pets. and “food porn” photos you uploaded to social media.

The free website is called Grassroots: Vaccination Receipt to Mobile Wallets (https://grassroots.vaccine-canada.ca/) and it works for most provinces and many US states – nearly 1.24 million receipts have been processed since the site launched in late August (previously the same developers were working on a volunteer appointment portal for vaccines).

Ryan Slobojan, one of the developers of Grassroots: Vaccination Receipt to Mobile Wallets.
Ryan Slobojan, one of the developers of Grassroots: Vaccination Receipt to Mobile Wallets.

“A QR code is more convenient for both the business and the customer because it is instantly ‘verifiable,’ says Ryan Slobojan, one of the five developers on this project, based in Toronto.

“We’ve all seen how easy it is to forge regular receipts, using only Microsoft Word, and it only takes a few minutes,” Slobojan said in a telephone interview with Postmedia. “Our platform is designed to accept new tamper-proof QR codes that are issued across Canada, and we verify that the QR code was created by a verified province or state before providing a receipt.”

(Interestingly, Grassroots: Vaccination Receipt to Mobile Wallets generated its own QR code solution for Ontarians months before each province launched its official solution in October, but now the site is converting the province’s PDF into a map that can be imported into Apple Wallet or Google Pay).

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Privacy was a top priority, said Slobojan, who confirms that no information is stored on the company’s servers, unlike the Calgary-based Portpass app which revealed exposing users’ personal data (prior to the closing). Additionally, Vaccination Received on Mobile Wallet, an open source project, has no ads or sponsorships.

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HOW TO LEAVE

Importing the new and improved QR codes into Apple Wallet requires the latest update, iOS 15, which works on iPhone 6 and newer devices, but those with an older operating system can still create a photo card from the provincial PDF.

Pro tip: set this photo as your “lock screen” image, so it’s always on hand for establishments that request it.

Android users, such as those with a Samsung Galaxy or Google Pixel device, can add proof of vaccination to Google Pay (if it is not already included with the Android operating system, this is from a free download from the Google Play Store, and typically used to tap a phone instead of carrying credit cards). Android 8.1 or newer is required.

To import your vaccination receipt into Apple Wallet or Google Play:

1. Go to the Grassroots website: Vaccination Received to Mobile Wallet (https://grassroots.vaccine-canada.ca/) and download the official receipt of your COVID-19 vaccination, or take a picture of your QR code (if you already have the receipt). If you need to upload your proof of vaccination, please select your province from the drop-down menu to be redirected to your provincial proof of vaccination portal.

2. Select or scan the vaccination receipt (PDF or image) pointing the website to the actual PDF file (click “Select File), like in your Downloads folder, or you can scan the QR code with your camera by clicking on “Start Camera. “

3. The last start is to add it to Apple Wallet (iPhone) or Google Pay (Android devices), so that you can click or tap either option. Again, your receipt is processed only on your device and is not downloaded anywhere.

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