The city’s COVID vaccination app will soon allow parents to upload their children’s vaccination information, with the software update coming sometime this week, city officials said Wednesday.
The NYC COVID Safe app, which allows users to upload photos of their vaccine cards, will allow multiple users to be on the same account for families who want to store their children’s vaccination cards on the parents’ apps.
“Parents, you can have your information and your kids’ information on that same NYC app," Mayor Bill de Blasio said at his news briefing Wednesday. “Over a million New Yorkers have already downloaded the NYC app to date. This update will make it even easier to use for families, so go get it and use it to make sure everyone is safe now.”
The app was not yet updated as of Wednesday afternoon, and City Hall officials said the change will happen this week.
Unlike the state’s Excelsior Pass app which uses Blockchain technology to link to medical databases from New York’s vaccination sites, the city’s COVID Safe app is a photo-based program where users take pictures of their vaccination records and upload them to the app. Critics have said the app doesn’t verify the authenticity of whatever photos are uploaded, and pointed to pictures of cats and household items that were successfully uploaded to COVID Safe. City officials defended the app as one piece of evidence that restaurant and venue staff can further verify as they choose.
On Monday, de Blasio announced that the Key to NYC policy — which mandated proof of vaccination status to enter the interiors of restaurants and other entertainment venues — will require anyone ages 12 and older to have at least two doses of a COVID vaccine starting December 27th. The policy will also require kids ages 5 to 11 years old to have at least one dose of a vaccine to eat inside restaurants or enter other venues, starting December 14th.
De Blasio acknowledged that he hoped the expansion of the requirements for kids would compel more parents to vaccinate their children ahead of a potential winter surge — as of Wednesday, city data showed 28% of New York City kids ages 5 to 11 had received at least one dose, with 16% of that age cohort fully vaccinated. The city reported 81% of kids ages 12 to 17 have received at least one dose, with 72% of that age cohort now fully vaccinated.
“I look to the parents: ‘get your kid vaccinated,'" de Blasio said on WPIX 11 Tuesday. "This is exactly the time we need to keep them safe.”