NEW YORK (WWTI) — New York’s electronic COVID vaccine pass is now open to all military veterans. On Monday, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced that the Excelsior Pass and Excelsior Pass Plus are now available to all military veterans who received their vaccinations at a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) hospital or health care facility in New York.
According to the Governor’s Office, this change allows nearly 117,000 currently eligible military veterans to retrieve their proof of vaccination from the state platform. Until now, the VA shared COVID vaccination data about military veterans living in, working in, and who receive the vaccine in New York directly with the federal government. This data was outside of the state’s jurisdiction, restricting it from New York’s vaccination database.
In the fall, Hochul issued an executive order that began the process of sharing COVID immunization records with state officials. This gave the VA the authority to provide this data and allow veterans to participate in Excelsior Pass programs.
The state Office of Information Technology Services, Division of Veterans’ Services, Department of Health, the Executive Chamber, and representatives of the federal government all reportedly collaborated to allow for this change. The Excelsior Pass and Excelsior Pass Plus app is available in over ten languages and can be downloaded on all smartphones.