By Elizabeth Thompson
As cities in some states, such as New York and California, start to require proof of vaccine to enter public spaces like restaurants and gyms, North Carolina has made no indication that such proof will be required here just yet.
When asked about whether North Carolina would have a statewide vaccine mandate at an Aug. 4 Coronavirus Task Force briefing, Gov. Roy Cooper instead encouraged businesses to get their employees vaccinated.
“People have a vaccination card that employers can use or businesses can use,” Cooper said.
“And we also have a vaccine verification process where people can go to the website and download verification on their vaccine if they got it here in North Carolina.”
For many people, the only verification they have that they are vaccinated is a card with handwritten information on it, which some college students have tried to fake, as WRAL reported.
What if you lost your vaccine card from the shot you got in North Carolina, or if your employer wants to see your verified vaccination status? Or you just want official proof of your vaccination?
You might need verified vaccine information to use the SMART Health Card, which is digital proof of vaccination that is the basis for the vaccine verification systems used in New York and California. This digital verification is not a vaccine passport, just a way of verifying your vaccination status that is more reliable than an easily-faked cardboard vaccine card.
NC DHHS is one of more than 270 entities listed as partners on the Vaccine Credential Initiative website, a coalition of tech, governmental and health entities committed to “testing, refining and implementing” the SMART Health Card, according to the initiative’s website.
North Carolina does have a vaccine verification process, where some people can view their vaccine on the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services website.
However, if you got your shot at a pharmacy that was participating in the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program, or a provider such as the U.S. Department of Defense, you must get your vaccine information directly from the provider that gave you the shot, according to the NC DHHS website. Those providers include:
- Costco Wholesale Corp.
- CPESN USA, LLC
- CVS Pharmacy
- Good Neighbor Pharmacy and AmerisourceBergen Drug Corporation’s pharmacy services administrative organization (PSAO), Elevate Provider Network
- Health Mart Pharmacies
- LeaderNET and The Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy, Cardinal Health’s PSAOs
- Publix Super Markets, Inc.
- Retail Business Services, LLC (including Food Lion, Giant Food, The Giant Company, Hannaford Brothers Company, Stop & Shop)
- The Kroger Co. (including Kroger, Harris Teeter, Fred Meyer, Fry’s, Ralphs, King Soopers, Smiths, City Market, Dillons, Mariano’s, Pick n’ Save, Copps, Metro Market, QFC)
- Topco Associates, LLC (including Acme Fresh Markets, Associated Food Stores, Bashas, Big-Y Pharmacy and Wellness Center, Brookshire’s Pharmacy, Super One Pharmacy, FRESH by Brookshire’s Pharmacy, Coborn’s Pharmacy, Cash Wise Pharmacy, MarketPlace Pharmacy, Giant Eagle, Hartig Drug Company, King Kullen, Food City Pharmacy, Ingles Pharmacy, Raley’s, Bel Air, Nob Hill Pharmacies, Save Mart Pharmacies, Lucky Pharmacies, SpartanNash, Price Chopper, Market 32, Tops Friendly Markets, ShopRite, Wegmans, Weis Markets, Inc.)
- Walgreens (including Duane Reade)
- Walmart, Inc. (including Sam’s Club)
Each of these providers has their own app, with their own log in information and passwords so you’ll have to navigate around those apps and websites to dig out your verification – sorry!
Here’s how to access the verification if you got vaccinated at a local health department, at a mass vaccination site that was run by the state’s DHHS.
Step One: Go to the NCDHHS COVID-19 Vaccine Portal
The vaccine portal can be accessed at: https://covid-vaccine-portal.ncdhhs.gov
Step Two: Sign in using your login information
You may have been pre-registered to the portal by your vaccine provider. Maybe you were put in the Covid Vaccine Portal when you scheduled a vaccine appointment or when you received a vaccine.
If you have completed registration, choose the “Login” button at the top right of the page (circled):
If you must still complete your registration, there is a “Login to Complete Registration” button in the middle of the page.
Your username will be the email address you used with the phrase .covid19vaccine added onto the end. So if your email is email@example.com, your username would be firstname.lastname@example.org
Not sure which email address you used? If your vaccine information is in the COVID-19 Vaccine Portal, you should have gotten an email from email@example.com.
Check your email inboxes for a message from that address.
Forgot your password? Click “Forgot your password?” You will then be brought to a page where you can enter your username and choose to reset your password. Then, check the email you used for your username for an email with the password reset information.
Step Three: You’re in, now what?
Once you have logged in to the portal, you will see a dashboard with different options.
Go to “Vaccine Registration” to check if you are registered in the portal.
Go to “My Dashboard” to check your vaccine appointments and COVID-19 Vaccine Information.
You can find a “My Appointments” tab first, which details when and where you got your shots.
There is a “COVID-19 Vaccine Information” tab next, specifying whether your vaccination was successful as well as your personal information, manufacturer of your vaccine, number of doses you received and when and where you received them.
There is an option on the right-hand side of this page to “Generate Your COVID-19 Vaccine Information.” If you lost your vaccine card, or you want a foolproof version of your vaccine card to reaffirm your vaccination status, this will be useful for you!
If you click that button, you will get a printable PDF version of your vaccine card, complete with the kind of vaccine you got, when, where and a scannable QR code.
You can download a PDF and save it in your email, or send it to yourself so you have it on your phone to show people who might ask for it.
If you can’t get access to your vaccine on the state’s COVID Vaccine Management System, you might have to contact your vaccine provider for proof of vaccination, said Catie Armstrong, press assistant from NC DHHS, in an email.
For example, NC Health News editor Rose Hoban’s husband got his vaccine at a community health clinic that was unable to enter email addresses because of software glitches. He called that clinic and they’re sending him a printout of his vaccination status.
The next page is “Profile,” where you can find personal information that you entered, including your name, date of birth and email.
If you have any questions or problems, you can use the help desk.