CHICAGO (CBS) — Illinois residents have a new option to show they’ve been vaccinated against COVID-19 as proof of vaccination mandates are about to go into effect in Chicago and most of suburban Cook County next week.

The Illinois Department of Public Health offers a SMART® Health Card through the Vax Verify portal, which allows users to create a QR code on their smartphone, which can be scanned at restaurants, bars, gyms, and other indoor businesses requiring proof of vaccination.

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The QR code generated through the Vax Verify portal will show proof of all the vaccinations you’ve received, without having to carry around your paper COVID-19 vaccination record.

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To access the SMART® Health Card, you just need to create an account at, and register with your personal information to access your full immunization records, and create a QR code you can save on your phone.

Businesses that use SMART® Health Card apps can then scan that code to confirm your vaccination status.

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Beginning on Monday in the city of Chicago and most of suburban Cook County, people will be required to show proof of vaccination at restaurants, bars, gyms, and other businesses that serve food or drinks. Evanston and Skokie have similar mandates that begin Jan. 10.

CBS 2 Chicago Staff