State IT Innovation of the Year
California made digital vaccine cards available to its residents last June, launching an online tool that uses QR codes to link residents to their vaccination statuses. Chief Technology Officer Rick Klau says the portal was born “out of necessity” as jurisdictions required people to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 to enter bars and restaurants. There have been few tweaks to the system since, Klau says, but setting the portal up highlighted where data was not making its way from pharmacies to the state’s systems. The portal incentivized health providers to ensure that information was correctly shared. “The quality of the data in the immunization registry itself improved dramatically, so much so that today we estimate over 90% of all requests of the digital vaccine record system are successful,” Klau said.