Good Question: Boosters and Excelsior Pass

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ROCHESTER N.Y. (WHEC) — Here’s a good question about the Excelsior Pass.

I’ll start out by saying that there are a lot of people who don’t see the need for these passes anymore. The passes are for showing your vaccine status or COVID test results.

Others do use it, even if just for good record-keeping on their shots. Phyllis recently asked me:

"How can we add our second booster to our NYS Excelsior Plus Pass? I found no way to add it from the app."

The short answer? This is not automatic. You don’t just get your booster, then the app updates. There’s nowhere to simply add your booster info yourself even though that would be ideal.

You have to get a new pass.

That is something we can tell based off the "Good Question" inbox that not everyone knows and not everyone finds simple to do. Let’s make it simple:

  • If you want a pass, go to the App Store and look for the Excelsior Pass Wallet App.
  • If you already have a pass, you need to make sure it’s an Excelsior Pass Plus. Those are the only ones that show your first vaccine doses and booster info.
  • If you have a Pass Plus but it doesn’t show your booster yet, you have to go back through the whole process step-by-step to load a new one

You need to put in your name, basic info like where you got vaccinated, the date you finished the first vaccine series (not booster), and where.

Do people think it’s that time-consuming? No. Is it a little annoying and confusing? Sure.

Why doesn’t the state just change the system, where everything updates on its own after boosters? New York’s Health Department told Somers:

“The first-in-the-nation Excelsior Pass platform empowers New Yorkers to be more in control of their health information than ever before. Information cannot be retroactively added to a Pass that has already been retrieved. That’s why we encourage New Yorkers who are interested in secure, digital proof of their booster dose to simply visit to retrieve a new Excelsior Pass Plus 3 – 4 days after their booster is administered. New Yorkers can hold or delete as many Passes as they may be eligible for. We continue to expand and evolve the Excelsior Pass platform to meet the evolving needs of New Yorkers including through Excelsior Pass Plus and the Excelsior Pass Scanner app.”

To recap, to have booster info on the pass, you must have "Excelsior Vaccination Pass Plus." Just create a new version if you downloaded it pre-booster. Another reminder, the regular Excelsior Pass doesn’t list your booster info. It only has your initial vaccine series.