With mandate in effect, CLEAR app gets official OK in Seattle area as vaccine verification method

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The CLEAR app features a Health Pass, left, that is used to verify COVID-19 vaccination. (CLEAR App images)

As the new Public Health – Seattle & King County policy requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination to enter certain businesses goes into effect today, digital methods of verification are expected to gain in popularity.

Customers age 12 and older will be required to verify full vaccination or proof of a negative COVID test to attend outdoor public events of 500 or more people and gain access to indoor establishments such as bars, restaurants, gyms and more.

Rather than fumbling through a wallet for a paper proof of vaccination card or scrolling through a smartphone photo library for a photo of such, some apps are streamlining the process.

CLEAR, the New York-based identity company, has been approved by Public Health as a trusted vaccine verification tool in the Seattle area. A digital vaccine card can be created through the free CLEAR app (iOS and Android). The company has already established partnerships with Seattle professional sports teams, including the Seahawks, Sounders FC and Kraken. 

Fans lined up at Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle where the CLEAR app was allowed as a method of vaccination verification. (GeekWire Photo / Kurt Schlosser)

CLEAR is also available for travelers at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, using biometrics such as eye or fingerprint scans for speedier movement through security. And at T-Mobile Park in Seattle fans can use CLEAR in certain concession lines.

“The Seattle Metro Chamber strongly and actively supports vaccination because we know it is the path out of this pandemic and toward an equitable economic recovery,” Rachel Smith, Chamber president and CEO, said in a news release. “Tools like CLEAR’s Health Pass are a critical part of how we can safely do many of the activities we love, whether that’s eating in a restaurant, working out at the gym, or supporting our local sports teams.”

New York City, San Francisco, and Los Angeles are among major U.S. metropolitan areas that have also named CLEAR a trusted tool.

Users who download the CLEAR app can create a digital vaccine cared by verifying identity by uploading images of a document such as a Washington state driver’s license and then snapping a selfie. The app’s tech matches the selfie to the ID image.

David Geller, a Seattle technology entrepreneur and investor, has created his own digital solution for vaccine verification called MyQRCard.

“I needed a way to keep track of business cards and share them easily,” Geller told GeekWire. “And I started seeing lots of Facebook ads for NFC business cards — the kind you tap to reveal contact info. So I created my own solution.”

Geller, who administers vaccines as a volunteer with Eastside Fire and Rescue, also added a vaccine template. He’s used it to do such things as successfully board an international flight and have breakfast in Seattle.

“The couple in front of me had to produce their CDC cards and then pull out their wallets to confirm identity,” Geller said of his restaurant experience. “When I shared my card with MyQRCard.app the hostess saw the card along with my name and photo and just said ‘cool’ and I was set!”

Geller made a feature that makes the QR code associated with the card work for only 5 minutes at a time. If someone were to share their vaccine info by QR code, the link would self-destruct automatically.

A blog post about Geller’s creation is here, and users can sign up to create a digital card here.

King County’s Department of Health first announced the proof of vaccination plan on Sept. 16. Health officials said they will revisit the policy within six months to see if it remains necessary and extend it based on future outbreak conditions.