How to Add Your Vaccine Passport to your iPhone

Image text: vaccine passport on your phone. Photo of a person looking at their phone at a restaurant.

This article was written before the Government of Ontario improved how you could show proof of vaccination digitally. You can now add your certificate of vaccination to the Health App on your iPhone, in addition to other methods outlined here for Ontarian residents: Get a Vaccine Certificate.


I’m straying from my usual ‘digital document how-to’ posts to write a Shortcuts app walkthrough post, inspired by BlogTO’s article: How to download your vaccine passport in Ontario. I’ve found the method they touched upon here to be quite useful!


As of September 22, 2021, residents and visitors to Ontario need to show proof of vaccination to access many businesses and organizations. However, the Ford government has not yet launched an app or a card (like a Drivers License), leaving residents to come up with their own methods to show proof of vaccination. This could be low-tech like printing out your vaccine receipt and keeping it in your bag (you can print it for free at your local library if you don’t have a printer at home) – or making a shortcut on your phone! Below are detailed instructions on the latter.

Screen capture of the search bar in Gmail
Search for “COVaxON” or “Ministry of Health” in your inbox

Download your Receipt:

  1. Open your email on your phone or computer
  2. Search for “COVaxON” or “Ministry of Health”
  3. Download your receipt to a location you can access on your phone that connects to the Shortcuts app (ie: Photos, Pages, Dropbox, etc)
  4. Give it a meaningful name to make it easier to find it in future (ie: [my name]_Vaccine_Receipt.pdf)
Screen capture of the Shortcuts app icon on the iPhone
Open the default Shortcuts app on your phone

Make a Shortcut on your iPhone:

If this is too intimidating, other options are listed at the end of this blog post.

  1. On your iPhone, search for “Shortcuts” (this is a default app on your phone)
  2. Open the Shortcuts app
Screen shot of the All Shortcuts screen in the Shortcuts app
Click the plus sign
  1. Click the plus sign (+) in the top right corner
  2. Click “Add Action”
  3. Click “Apps”
Screen shot of the Shortcut app with the option to click Apps highlighted
Click Apps
  1. Select the app where your saved your receipt (in this demo, it is Adobe Creative Cloud)
  2. Select the vaccine receipt file
  3. Click “Next”
  1. Give the shortcut a short, meaningful name (ie: Vaccine Passport etc.)
  2. If you’d like, give it a unique icon by clicking the box next to the name and choosing a unique colour and/or icon from the available options. (I made mine red with a needle icon)
  3. Click “Done”
Screen capture of the Shortcuts app
  1. Now you will see your Shortcut on the Shortcut screen. Click the options button (ellipsis in a blue circle) on your new shortcut.
  2. Click “Add to Home Screen”
  3. Click “Done”
Screen capture of the Add to Home Screen button
  1. Close the Shortcut app by clicking the home button on your phone
  2. You will not see the new shortcut on your home screen!
  3. If you’d like to move its location, just hold your finger down on the app until all the apps jiggle, then drag it to its desires location on your home screen.

Now, whenever you need to show your receipt, just click your new shortcut!

If you use Siri, you can also tell your phone “Hey Siri, show my [shortcut name].”

Illustration of a group of people wearing masks
Cover vector created by

Other Options:

If creating a Shortcut is too arduous and you don’t plan on using Siri etc, you can also do the following:

  • Treat it like a weblink: Save it to a secure server you trust (ie: Dropbox, Creative Cloud etc), open the URL on your phone (Safari is the default web browser on iPhone), hit the Share button, Add to Reading List, then “Save Automatically” to make available offline, then hit the Share button again and choose “Add to Home Screen”
  • Save it to your phone: then just search for it whenever you need to show it (Search bar > file name)
  • Print out your receipt: You can print it at your local library for free! Just remember to keep it with your keys so you don’t forget it when leaving the house…

For more information, please see the Government of Ontario’s webpage: COVID-19 in Ontario.


Author: nchitty

Inclusive designer based out of Toronto.

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