ST PAUL, Minn. — A new mobile app has arrived in Minnesota, which gives residents easy access to their immunization records through their phones.
The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) unveiled a partnership with a free app called "Docket" on Wednesday, which will give Minnesotans a quicker, easier way to safely view their immunization record, including the COVID-19 vaccine. This app comes as a growing number of Minnesota businesses and venues are requiring proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test to enter their doors.
“We recognize the importance of having a secure and convenient way to find, view and share your and your family’s immunization records, such as needing records for school or child care,” MDH Infectious Disease Division Director Kris Ehresmann said in a release. “The Docket app gives Minnesotans a digital option to access their immunization history in MIIC (Minnesota Immunization Information Connection), check what vaccines you or your children may be due for, and see what vaccines you may need in the future. This is vital to making sure people are protected from preventable diseases.”
According to a press release from MDH, the app, which is entirely voluntary, will provide a record of every immunization a person has received in Minnesota. The app will provide a PDF of the immunization record that can be saved on each user's phone or mobile device.
"This really is nothing more than easing the access to what is already a created database," says University of Minnesota associate professor of pediatrics and bioethics Jennifer Needle.
The award-winning app was created three years ago. Besides Minnesota, it first partnered with New Jersey and Utah Public Health to track upcoming shots and review past immunizations.
"That’s an entirely different concept than a vaccine passport where there’s mandated, government controlled access to a service based on some documentation of vaccination," said Needle.
As of Wednesday afternoon, MDH said nearly 6,000 people downloaded the app.
“The volume of recent requests means it is taking weeks, not days, for people to get their vaccination record back, but Docket gives an option for people to more directly and quickly access their immunization information,” said Ehresmann.
A similar app was introduced in New York earlier this summer called Excelsior Pass. Now, a handful of other states and municipalities have announced similar similar digital forms of vaccine proof.
"It really just puts the power to have access of your health information into your own hands," said Needle.
In a statement, MDH says that Docket adheres to industry-standard data security practices and meets the state’s security standards. For example, the app utilizes encryption to help protect data from end-to-end when an immunization record is requested. It also uses authentication codes at setup to validate the information provided for the immunization record request.
Docket is available for download in Apple and Android app stores.