Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that more than 10.9 million Excelsior Passes have been issued to date. As the first-in-the-nation platform continues to evolve to meet New Yorkers’ needs, and as the original Excelsior Pass types expire, the State reminds New Yorkers to retrieve the latest and most robust Pass option available, Excelsior Pass Plus.
“As New Yorkers continue to navigate through these challenging times, our state continues to lead the nation with bold, transformative solutions,” Governor Hochul said. “New York will continue to utilize digital technology to better meet the needs of the people we serve. I encourage all New Yorkers who are interested to get their Excelsior Pass Plus today.”
Excelsior Pass Plus—the newest and most comprehensive Pass option—is a secure, digital copy of an individual’s COVID-19 vaccination record, which, as a record, does not expire. Validated by the State of New York and built on open, interoperable standards now used by more than 23 U.S. states, Puerto Rico, and Canada, New Yorkers can use their Excelsior Pass Plus in these places and others, where SMART Health Cards are accepted. The Pass Plus also includes an individual’s booster or additional dose(s), so long as it is retrieved three to four days following administration. Just like Excelsior Pass, a negative test Pass Plus is also available.
State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett said, “Just as you would take good care of your paper CDC Vaccination Card or driver’s license, every New Yorker should retrieve and hold their Excelsior Pass Plus. Giving individuals direct access to their health information empowers them to take an active role in decisions that impact their health and well-being. I applaud the ongoing collaboration – across a multitude of New York State agencies – which uses technology innovation to improve public health.”
Launched in March 2021 as the nation’s first COVID-19 credential system, Excelsior Pass was initially conceived to fast-track New York’s economic reopening while empowering New Yorkers with direct access to their vaccine and test information. Based on federal and State guidance, all Excelsior Vaccination Passes met CDC’s definition of fully vaccinated. As stated in the most recent CDC guidance, which New York State Department of Health adheres to, states individuals should stay up to date with all recommended vaccines. Beginning June 30, Excelsior Pass Plus, with its record-based format and additional capabilities, will be the only Pass type available for New Yorkers. Already well-established and utilized, more than 4 million Excelsior Passes Plus have been issued to date.
First Deputy Director of the Division of the Budget Sandra Beattie said, “The development of the nation’s first COVID-19 credential system has been significant for New York State and New Yorkers alike. Building safe, secure technology delivered through accessible, elegant interfaces is something state government can, and should, do more of. From the start, the Excelsior Pass platform and New York State Wallet app were designed to evolve based on residents’ needs, and both tools have done that at every step. As a sustainable, digital record, Excelsior Pass Plus enables New Yorkers to maintain their vaccination and test information while allowing the State to consider the solutions people need next – and there will be more to come.”
Following the launch of Excelsior Pass, New York State launched the Excelsior Pass Scanner app for businesses. To date, more than 215,000 downloads of the Scanner app have been made, representing use across hundreds of thousands of businesses and organizations who leveraged the tool to support reopening activities.
In August 2021, New York State launched Excelsior Pass Plus, expanding more uses for New Yorkers, including travel and commerce opportunities. Maintaining the same rigorous security and privacy features, the updated Pass Plus is designed as a digital health record, built using the SMART Health Cards Framework. Underpinned by the State’s world-renowned partnership with the globally recognized Vaccine Credential Initiative, Excelsior Pass Plus supported New York in leading the development of a set of shared, harmonized standards that have since been adopted by states nationwide, territories like Puerto Rico, and countries, including Canada. New York State worked with each entity to ensure compatibility and acceptance of credentials across borders.
New York State Chief Technology Officer and Deputy Chief Information Officer Rajiv Rao said, “The New York State Wallet app and Excelsior Pass solution architecture have and continue to lay the foundation for a stronger, more resilient digital State. Every day, those solutions deliver for people without fail. As we consider New York’s post-pandemic recovery, we must continue to push the boundaries of how clinical information and government services are delivered. The future of New York State must have not just infrastructure, but digital infrastructure, built to support current and emerging resident needs.”
As the State continues to evolve and expand the Excelsior Pass platform, more support has been offered to other states and entities to accelerate the development of interoperable solutions. In October 2021, Governor Hochul announced the availability of New York State’s Excelsior Pass Blueprint – the nation’s first framework to assist other states and governments in the development of digital health credentials, based on the Excelsior Pass platform and Excelsior Pass Plus solution.
All New Yorkers should visit epass.ny.gov to retrieve their free Excelsior Pass Plus. New Yorkers can hold as many Passes as they may be eligible for, and parents and guardians can hold Passes for children under 18 years. Passes can be deleted in the New York State Wallet app at any time.
New Yorkers can learn more about Excelsior Pass Plus at the FAQ page here.
To download New York State’s Excelsior Pass Blueprint, visit the link here.