ROCHESTER, Minn. The state of Minnesota has partnered with software developer Docket Health to enable residents secure access to their immunization records via a free mobile app.

The app is called Docket, and is designed to enable quick proof of vaccination.

With many private businesses expected to begin requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination for entry and use of services, an authentic, portable and accessible record of shots received is believed likely to become an in-demand resource.

"This is a tool to help Minnesotans more easily to access their immunization records through their smartphones or other mobile devices," said state Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm at an afternoon press call on Wednesday, Sept. 15.

"Docket enables residents who have an immunization record on the Minnesota Immunization Information Connection (MIIC) to securely view and share their immunization records through this app."

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Malcolm said the health department contracted with the app in order to "help meet the rising public demand we've been seeing for more accessible immunization records."

Previously, in order to gain a copy of your immunization records from MIIC, users needed to fill out a request form at the MDH website or request them from a provider.

"In recent months, those requests have definitely swamped that system," Malcolm said, adding that the state had already processed 33,000 such requests in 2021, with 19,000 of those since July 1 alone.

By comparison, the state processed 12,000 such requests in all of 2020.

“We recognize the importance of having a secure and convenient way to find, view, and share your and your family’s immunization records, such as needing records for school or child care,” said Minnesota Department of Health Infectious Disease Division Director Kris Ehresmann. “The Docket app gives Minnesotans a digital option to access their immunization history in MIIC, check what vaccines you or your children may be due for, and see what vaccines you may need in the future. This is vital to making sure people are protected from preventable diseases.”

The app combines all immunizations a person has received into a single record, even if those vaccinations were given by different providers. It also provides the user with a PDF that can be downloaded and saved to a device, to be printed, emailed or texted as needed.

Minnesota is the third state to enter into a program with Docket Health. The app is in use already in Utah and New Jersey.

After registering, users must enter their date of birth and gender, then consent to the software gaining access to the user's state immunization records. A brief legal disclaimer states that "neither Docket nor the Minnesota Department of Health will share your personal information or immunization records with any third parties except as required by law."

Out of over 12,000 ratings on the app store Docket currently averages 4.7 out of 5 stars.

State health officials add that the app is not mandatory, and that users can continue to get their immunization records from the MDH website or health care provider.

By late afternoon Wednesday, Malcolm said more than 1,600 users had downloaded the app since its rollout that morning.