Minutes after California launched its new online vaccine verification system, reports of issues and inaccuracies started to come in.
Several staffers on our own team noticed problems, some never receiving an email, some receiving a message that their information doesn't match the state's records. Others' digital verifications were inaccurate, showing only one dose received when they actually had two. One producer was vaccinated in March with Pfizer, but his record shows he got Moderna in January.
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"I just tried with my email and phone number, with various combinations of my name and it wouldn't work," said a reporter on the teleconference with California health officials where the new system was announced. "Do you have an estimate of how many people will have issues because their contact info is not in CARES?"
California health officials estimated "better than 90%" of their immunization records have contact information attached.
What should you do if your online vaccine verification isn't working or isn't accurate?
Here are some troubleshooting tips from the California Department of Public Health.
If you never received your record via text or email
The most common reason for this, CDPH says, is that your contact information wasn't attached to your immunization record.
"In other words, it's highly likely that we have your record, but not your correct phone number or email address," the agency explains.
You'll have to give that information to the department's virtual assistant by clicking here. You'll need to have your ID and the paper copy of your vaccination record handy.
(Having issues with the virtual assistant? You're not alone. See more below.)
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If your vaccination record is inaccurate or incomplete
You'll need to correct your record with CDPH using its virtual assistant. Start that process by clicking here. You should also have an ID handy and your paper record, if you have one.
If you're having problems with the virtual assistant
People who tried to do as instructed and correct their records using the virtual assistant were met with this message Friday: "Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the virtual assistant is experiencing exceptionally high volume."
The best thing we can suggest is trying again later when the website may not be as overloaded. (We'll update this story if we hear more solutions from CPDH.)
How long does correcting my record take?
The process can take two to three weeks once you've submitted your info via the virtual assistant, CDPH says. You'll be emailed when the process is complete.