By Megan Hickey

CHICAGO (CBS) — The state’s calling it a new tool to make it easier to prove you’re vaccinated.

But just days into the launch of the new online portal, Vax Verify, we’re already getting complaints that the information online is wrong.

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CBS2 Investigator Megan Hickey is digging into the kinks that still need to be worked out.

More than eight months since the first COVID-19 vaccinations became available in Illinois, the state finally has an online portal that allows residents over the age of 18 to look up their COVID-19 vaccination record.

It’s a useful concept, as more venues are asking for proof of vaccination, but some vaccinated residents are telling us the bugs are not all worked out.

In two of the emails sent to CBS 2, viewers wrote:

“IDPH does not have my vaccination records, and as far as the State of Illinois knows, I am not vaccinated.”

And ..

“I was shocked to see IDPH report zero vaccination records for me. Nothing. Empty.”

Hickey tested the portal, too. Despite being vaccinated in April, there was no record of it after she registered on the site.

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“As the old saying goes, you know, garbage in garbage out. Until they get that in there and check the data, it’s marginally useful,” said William Kresse, a fraud expert and professor at Governors State University.

He points to one of the site’s disclaimers: “The health care provider who administered the immunization may not have reported the immunization to the Department or may not have entered a complete record of information.”

Kresse says there might be a lag getting the data into this new database.

Viewers have also reached out about the fact identity verification for the portal is being handled by the consumer credit reporting company Experian.

Kresse worries that it also opens users up to potential fraud.

“Every time some other third party has your personal identifying information or in this case medical information confidential information, you are opening yourself up for possible fraud for possible identity theft,” he said.

IDPH tells us that if you have a freeze on your credit then users will need to unfreeze their credit with Experian before completing the registration process.

Kresse said there’s no evidence of any kind breach right now, and he believes the state will be on high alert.

“I imagine that they are going to redouble their efforts and have since the major breach a few years ago, but I am afraid it’s just a way of something you have to put up with in living in this modern world,” he said.

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We asked a spokesperson for IDPH what vaccinated residents should do if the portal currently says they are not vaccinated vaccination. A spokesperson told us that if no records are found after registering, viewers can address the inaccuracies via email: dph.immunizationportal@illinois.gov

Megan Hickey