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Oregon tests voluntary electronic tool to verify vaccination

FILE - In this March 26, 2021, file photo a member of the Philadelphia Fire Department prepares a dose of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination site setup in Philadelphia. The Oregon health Authority is working on an electronic tool that can verify whether a person is vaccinated. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon is working on an electronic vaccine verification tool that residents could use to share their COVID-19 vaccination status with businesses that ask for proof of verification.

The Oregon Health Authority said the tool would be optional and people could volunteer to opt-in, KHQ-TV reported.

Oregon is testing a model of the tool with “communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19,” health officials said.

The goal is to make it available to anyone in Oregon in the spring 2022.

Oregon does not require businesses to ask for customers’ proof of COVID-19 vaccination, but many Portland restaurants and bars and places such as the Rose Quarter — which includes the Moda Center where the Portland Trail Blazers basketball team plays — have established their own requirements.

Officials said the tool is modeled after similar ones used in Washington and California.

On Nov. 23, Washington launched a digital COVID-19 verification record card that includes a QR code that can be scanned to prove vaccination, according to the Washington State Department of Health.

The new tool comes as more businesses require proof of vaccination to enter. King County, Washington’s most populous county, which includes Seattle, has required proof of vaccination for indoor dining and events and large outdoor gatherings since October.