Fully vaccinated individuals in Hawaii will soon be able to show digital proof of their COVID-19 vaccination status on mobile phones before entering businesses and other venues that require it.
Gov. David Ige and Office of Enterprise Technology Director Doug Murdock today announced the state-issued Hawaii SMART Health Card, which saves the CDC vaccination card digitally on the mobile phone and replaces the physical card. Opting into the program, which begins Sept. 10, is voluntary. Individuals who don’t want to participate may still show their physical card.
“This will help to prevent the use of fake vaccination cards,” said Ige, adding that businesses will be able to scan the QR code using a verification app.
The announcement comes just days before the start of the Safe Access Oahu program, which requires individuals to show physical proof of their vaccination status or negative COVID-19 test before entering restaurants and bars, indoor gyms and entertainment venues such as bowling alleys, arcades and zoos. Ige said the new digital program through the Safe Travels Hawaii website makes it more convenient for those who have been vaccinated in Hawaii.
More local businesses and government agencies are requiring proof of vaccination status for workers, patrons and customers. ‘Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach and Highgate Hawaii today became the first hotel company in Hawaii to announce a vaccination mandate for employees and guests.
“Participation in the SMART Health Card program is purely voluntary, but it aims to make it easier and more convenient for patrons to present proof of vaccination at restaurants, gyms, other businesses and establishments that require it,” said Ige said in a statement. “The digital Health Card supports counties that require proof of vaccination at certain businesses and venues. It’s another step toward protecting the health and safety of our residents and visitors, while also balancing the need to support local businesses and Hawaiʻi’s economy.”
The latest Hawaii COVID-19 vaccine summary says 1,908,298 vaccine doses have been administered through state and federal distribution programs as of Tuesday, up 9,180 from a day earlier. Health officials say that 64.7% of the state’s population is now fully vaccinated, and 72.9% have received at least one dose.
Approximately 177,000 Hawaii residents eligible to receive the shots, out of a total population of 1.42 million, still haven’t been vaccinated. Children under the age of 12 aren’t yet eligible.
In order to obtain a Hawaii SMART Health Card, residents must have received two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or one dose of Johnson & Johnson, followed by a 14-day waiting period. Vaccination information will be automatically verified against the state vaccination database.
The state’s database cannot verify certain vaccination records, including vaccination data from the Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs and certain federal vaccine programs.
The program is only open to people vaccinated in Hawaii. State officials say they are looking at expanding the system to allow residents to upload negative COVID-19 test results.
Unvaccinated residents or those who cannot sign up for the Hawaii SMART Health Card, can provide physical documents, including a CDC vaccination card or negative COVID-19 PCR test result.