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July 12, 2021

App allows New Jersey residents to prove they've received COVID-19 vaccinations, but don't call it a vaccine passport

Docket currently is being used in Utah, and other states are also planning rollouts

Technology COVID-19
COVID-19 vaccine app NJ ANTHONY BEHAR/SIPA/USA

New Jersey residents who lose their COVID-19 vaccination cards are now able to digitally access records, using the app Docket. A person's phone number or email address must be on file with the state health department's immunization registry, and Gov. Phil Murphy stresses this is not a vaccine passport.

Lose your COVID-19 vaccination card? There's an app for that – at least in New Jersey. 

The state's Department of Health on Monday has signed on to use Docket, an app that officials say will eventually streamline public access to all records from the New Jersey Immunization Information System. For now, though, Docket will only provide proof of one's vaccination against COVID-19.

"To be absolutely clear, this is not a passport," Gov. Phil Murphy said during Monday's coronavirus briefing. "Docket is intended to solely give residents easy access to their COVID vaccination record, especially if their vaccination card has been damaged or lost."

If you want to access your records on Docket, you'll need to have a phone number or email address on file with the health department's immunization registry, according to Health Department Commissioner Judy Persichilli. Typically, immunization records can only be mailed. 

New Jersey residents who were vaccinated in a different state may have to wait a while before they can access their records on Docket. The health department is working to obtain those out-of-state records so that they are available on the app, Persichilli said.

Owned by New York-based Docket Health Inc., Docket currently is used in Utah and is on track to be implemented in other states around the country, Persichilli said. The app has been approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and "adheres to federal and state standards for data security and privacy," she added.

When asked later about the prospects of using the app as a vaccine passport, Murphy said he is not adamantly against the idea of a passport program, but the state needs to make a better effort in vaccinating members of its minority communities before putting a program in place. About 22% of New Jersey's vaccine doses (roughly 2.3 million) have been administered to Black and Latino residents, according to state data.

"In Black and brown communities, we're not yet where we need to be," he said. "Until we've given everything we've got – in that everyone has had a fair access to the vaccine – then, while I'm open minded, I don't think the timing is right."

Apple users can find Docket on the App Store, and it is also available on the Google Play Store.

If you've lost your vaccination card and would like a new one, click here to visit the Department of Health's website and then click on "Submit a Request" at the top of the page.

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