Google Wallet is Google’s latest update to the company’s touchless payments management system. In addition to bank cards, Google Wallet is also capable of holding your other passes, including digital COVID-19 vaccine records. This guide will dig into finding out if you can access an officially supported one and how to add it to your Google Wallet app.
Announced during Google I/O back in May, Google Wallet was set to be the replacement for the old Google Pay app. The goal in mind was to essentially replace your physical wallet with something digital. In line with that, Google Wallet is able to hold your bank cards, transit and boarding passes, loyalty memberships, vaccine records, and even eventually your ID.
While the latter hasn’t been rolled out yet to users – due to cooperation on the state level – most of the other features are available for use. This includes COVID-19 vaccination cards.
During the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines, the CDC was offering a piece of paper along with your shots that would hold your vaccine dose info and date of administration. Unfortunately, that vaccine card was larger than the average wallet and required folding to hold onto.
This is one of the areas where having a digital wallet shines. With Google Wallet, users can add a secure digital version of their COVID-19 vaccine record card that has been certified as official. This is done through a few different outlets available in several regions across the globe.
Here’s a list of where COVID-19 vaccine cards are available in Google Wallet:
- New Zealand
- Spain (Murcia region only)
- United Kingdom
- United States
Am I eligible for an official digital vaccine card?
Just as with state-issued IDs, not every region in the contiguous US is readily willing or able to adopt official digital vaccine cards. This means that there are only a handful of states that actually offer official digital versions of COVID-19 vaccination records.
Outside of that, there are a few other programs that offer digital vaccine cards. The additional options are limited to programs that healthcare providers use. If you don’t happen to belong to one of them, you likely won’t be able to add an official vaccine record card to your Google Wallet.
Here’s a list of states and providers in the US that offer official COVID-19 vaccine cards:
- Illinois Department of Public Health
- State of California
- Oregon Health Authority
- Virginia State Department of Health
- Washington State Department of Health
- Beth Israel Lahey Health
- Change Healthcare
The one provider that will likely make it easy for a lot of users to add their COVID-19 vaccine card to Google Wallet is Walgreens. Unfortunately, that looks to be the only nationwide administrant of vaccines on this list.
How to add COVID-19 vaccine card to Google Wallet
Since there are so many varying providers of vaccine cards, it’s almost impossible to gather instructions for every individual one. However, we can use an example of adding a Walgreens COVID-19 vaccine card to Google Wallet, which will give a good idea of how adding one to Google Wallet works.
Here’s how to add a COVID-19 vaccine card to Google Wallet:
- On your Android device with Google Wallet, head to Google’s list of vaccine card providers.
- Tap the provider that you used to get your vaccines.
- Note: In this case, we’ll use Walgreens.
- Log in using your provider credentials.
- In Walgreens’s case, you have to generate a QR code in order to download your COVID-19 vaccine card. You will generally be prompted to do so by the app you’re using.
- Agree to terms allowing an electronic signature to be created.
- Note: This is necessary for Google Wallet to access the vaccine information.
- Hit Save to phone.
- Google Wallet will ask if you want to continue, to which you hit Continue.
- Agree to the terms listed.
- Google Wallet will create your vaccination card. Hit View in Wallet.
We’ve also been able to test California’s digital vaccine card program, which doesn’t require a login but rather your name and date of birth. You also need to provide an email or phone number and create a four-digit PIN you can easily remember. Once you agree to the terms, you’ll receive a text or email with a link to finish the steps in the Google Wallet app.
Again, these processes might differ slightly between providers, though in general, the steps handled on Google Wallet’s side should remain very similar.
Once finished, a digital COVID-19 vaccine card will be available in Google Wallet for you to use if needed. Something to note is that this COVID-19 vaccine card is saved locally, meaning you’ll have to generate a new one or download it again if you switch devices.
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