If you have gotten a COVID-19 vaccine in the United States, you have also received a vaccine card. Your card is a written record of your vaccination and should contain the logo of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), your full, official name, the dates of your doses, and the vaccine brand name.
Depending on the state where you live, you may also get a digital record of your vaccination. The QR code on your digital records is scannable with appropriate applications. In most instances, the digital record is accepted in place of the paper card. However, it is a good idea to have a printed record along with a digital record.
Once you get your vaccination card you should take care of it because you might need it to get into certain places like schools or workplaces. And if you plan on traveling on a cruise line or airline, or to cross international borders, you will definitely need it to prove that you’ve been vaccinated.
Here’s more information about how to take care of your vaccination card.
How can you protect your COVID-19 vaccination card?
It’s probably not the best idea to get your card laminated because you may have to add additional dose information to it. To protect the paper card from damage, slip it into a plastic sheath before you put it in your wallet or purse.
It’s a good idea to make a couple of photocopies of your card – front and back – and keep them in a safe place. Also, take a photo with your phone, again front and back, so you have a copy if you lose yours and need the information.
You probably won’t need to have your card with you at all times, so keep the original in a safe place at home and carry a photocopy with you. If you have a digital copy, you’ll only need your phone to show your vaccination records.
What should you do if you lose your COVID-19 vaccination card?
If you lose your card or if it is damaged, you can get a replacement. You need to contact the vaccination site where you got the card and let them know you need a new one.
Any site that administers vaccinations has records on file and can print out a new record of your vaccinations. If you have trouble getting a replacement from the vaccination site, you can contact the immunization information system in your state of residence and ask for help from them.
If you want to have more than one copy of your vaccination card, you can ask for a duplicate record from the staff at your vaccination site.
Who can you show your vaccination card to?
As more and more people around the world get vaccinated, there are bound to be more restrictions for those who aren’t vaccinated. As of now, people who are fully vaccinated can travel internationally to some countries by showing proof of vaccination.
Many countries will allow entry in to those who aren’t fully vaccinated, but require proof of a negative COVID test. But, because things can change quickly, it’s best to have your vaccination card ready to show people who are authorized to check your records.