Being able to demonstrate proof of vaccination is rapidly becoming an important factor for both safe travel and the safe attendance of meetings and events.
However, the vaccination record card issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is currently the only document available for meeting attendees to provide proof that they have received their vaccine. So what should you do with your vaccination card after you receive it, and what happens if you lose this important document and later require it for travel or to attend an in-person event?
1. Take a picture of it on your phone
The easiest way to safeguard your proof of vaccination is to scan it or take a digital photo. Make sure you scan or photograph both sides of the card, and back the images up somewhere safely. However, don’t be tempted to share the image of your vaccination to social media, as it contains unique identifiers such as your full name and date of birth, which could be used by scammer to steal your identity.
2. Keep it somewhere safe
Don’t carry your vaccine card around with you at all times. Keep it in a safe place alongside other important documents such as your passport and social security card, and only carry it with you if you know you’re going to need it.
3. Notify your primary care doctor
If you receive your vaccination somewhere other than your primary care doctor’s office, make sure you notify your doctor that you have received the vaccine. This important step will assist health care providers in ensuring that your record of immunizations is up to date.
4. Consider protecting it in a plastic wallet
Several companies have begun producing clear plastic wallets to keep your proof of vaccination card protected and safe from spills, stains and wear and tear. While a plastic sleeve can keep your vaccination card protected, it is not recommended to laminate your card, as further booster shots of the vaccine may be required in the future, and sealing the card in plastic would prevent your vaccine provider from entering any additional information on the original card.
5. Know how to get a replacement if you lose the original
If you do lose your card, it is possible to source a replacement. The first step is to contact the site where you received the vaccine, providing them with the date you had the shot and a photo ID. If the vaccine provider can’t issue a replacement card themselves, you can contact your state’s health department, as every vaccine administered is recorded with the state’s immunization registry. A list of state contacts for immunization records can be found on the CDC’s website.