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Verifying your Vaccination Information
State's My Vaccine Record portal provides secure proof of vaccination


ABC7’s Seven on Your Side story, “120,000 vaccinated in San Mateo County left without CDC cards; county has no plans to replace them” (8/27/21), mischaracterizes how vaccination records are managed in California and creates the false impression that a 4.25” x 3.5” CDC card is more valid or necessary than other forms of documentation.

We appreciate our residents’ concerns about being to able to verify their vaccination status when needed, in a format that is widely accepted. It’s disconcerting to read in the media that only one form of verification is proper, and we understand the confusion and frustration that follow.

San Mateo County Health, like other providers in California, administers COVID-19 vaccinations on behalf of the state and follows guidelines from the California Department of Public Health. The standards for providing documentation to participants in vaccination clinics are outlined here:

Options for Providing Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination:

  • COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card (issued by the Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control & Prevention or WHO Yellow Card1) which includes name of person vaccinated, type of vaccine provided and date doses administered); OR 
  • A photo of a vaccination card as a separate document; OR 
  • A photo of the client’s vaccine card stored on a phone or electronic device; OR 
  • Documentation of vaccination from a healthcare provider; OR  
  • Digital record that includes a QR code that when scanned by a SMART Health Card reader displays to the reader client name, date of birth, vaccine dates and vaccine type; OR 
  • Documentation of vaccination from other contracted employers who follow these vaccination records guidelines and standards.

Participants in County-operated clinics receive a letter-sized document, on paper or cardstock, as the written record of their vaccination. The document includes the name of the person vaccinated, date of birth, the type of vaccine provided and lot number, the date the last dose was administered, and the site where it was administered.

San Mateo County uses the reverse side of the sheet to provide information about what participants should expect after vaccination, what to do if they have an adverse reaction, and a reminder about their second appointment to complete the Pfizer or Moderna series.

Providing the vaccination and safety information on a single sheet reduces the chances of its being lost or ignored, since receiving the second dose of Pfizer or Moderna is essential to being fully vaccinated. This format is consistent with the standards established by the California Department of Public Health.

My Vaccine Record portal

To verify vaccination status, the State of California provides an online portal ( to display an electronic record of the vaccination. The state also says that if participants lose their original paper vaccine card and need a new one, they can print the digital record from the My Vaccination Record portal (

The State of California has established its My Vaccination Record portal as the source of truth to verify a resident’s vaccination status, since it is more secure than a paper document and can’t be lost or forged. The portal draws on data from the California Immunization Registry, which contains information about residents’ vaccinations of any type, not just the COVID-19 vaccine. It is the authoritative source of vaccination information in the state and is accessible by residents through the My Vaccination Record portal, to show proof of vaccination to employers, businesses, restaurants and bars, travel companies, and other venues.

Residents Vaccinated by County Health

For residents who received vaccinations from San Mateo County Health in the past, there is no reason that businesses requiring vaccination verification should refuse to accept the State of California - created digital verification options, as well as a printout of their My Vaccination Record information.