COVID-19 Immunization Providers Must Request Patients’ Cell Numbers, Email Addresses

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On Sept. 24, CDPH issued a state public health officer order requiring COVID-19 immunization providers to request each patient’s mobile phone number and email address. If the patient does not provide this information, the provider must tell the patient that:

  • They are not required to provide this information to receive the vaccine.
  • Not providing the information may make it difficult for them to access a digital version of their vaccination record.
  • The digital vaccine record can be used in the future to verify their vaccination status for convenience or if they lose their paper vaccination card.

If the patient provides the information, the provider must enter it into the immunization registry. This information is needed to implement CDPH’s system to allow Californians to access their digital COVID-19 vaccine record as a form of portable and reliable vaccine verification.

A person who wants to gain access to their digital vaccine record must verify their identity by selecting a link that is sent to them via the email or cell phone number they provided at the time of vaccination. If this information is not in the registry, the vaccine recipient must go through a time-consuming reconciliation process with CDPH to access their digital vaccine record.

Existing privacy laws apply to this information. The order takes effect on Oct. 1 at 12:01 a.m. (PT).