COVID-19 Vaccine Card: Do Keep It Safe, Don't Laminate It & Two More Do's & Don'tsApril 22, 2021 - Katie McCallum
(This article was updated on 11/8/2021)
In the digital world we live in, being handed a paper vaccination card after receiving your COVID-19 vaccine may have felt a bit odd.
And while it may seem obvious, we'll say it anyway: Your COVID-19 vaccination card is important, so don't toss it. In fact, not only should you not lose track of it, there are purposeful things you should (and shouldn't) do with it.
Dr. Wesley Long, director of diagnostic microbiology at Houston Methodist, is here to share the two do's and two dont's you should consider when it comes to your COVID-19 vaccination card.
Do keep your card somewhere safe
"Your vaccine card is important because it documents which COVID-19 vaccine you received and when you received it. This will become important when it's time to consider getting a COVID booster," says Dr. Long. "It will help guide the timing of your booster, as well as act as a record of which vaccines you've received."
Lastly, Dr. Long points out that, as we reach towards our new normal, documentation that you're fully vaccinated may eventually be required for:
- Attending school and/or a university
- Participating in certain activities
- Attending large events
"Plus, some businesses are offering discounts and deals for those who are vaccinated, and you'll likely need to show your card in some form or fashion to benefit," adds Dr. Long.
Do take a photo of the front and back
"There's really no need to carry the original copy of your vaccination card around with you as of right now. Instead, take a picture of both the front and back of your card, save digital copies to your phone and personal cloud storage, and then store your original card away for safe keeping," recommends Dr. Long.
In the event that you lose your vaccination card, having a digital copy can help tide you over until you can get a replacement, and it may even expedite the process of getting a replacement card.
If you lose your card, bring your photo ID to your vaccine provider and they'll be able to look you up and provide a duplicate card. And, having a digital copy may be helpful as they check their records, since you'll know the exact date you received your dose(s).
Don't post a photo of your vaccine card on social media
Speaking of taking photos of your vaccination card...
"Getting your COVID-19 vaccine feels empowering, but avoid the urge to share your excitement by posting your vaccination card on social media," warns Dr. Long. "Your personal information is on that card, including your name and birth date, and linking that information to your social media profile is concerning from an identity-theft standpoint."
Instead, Dr. Long recommends snapping a selfie of your arm and Band-Aid after your shot.
"Some providers are even handing out vaccination stickers right now, which I think is a great way to share your excitement with others. Taking a selfie with your sticker is a safer way to let your friends, family and followers know you got vaccinated," adds Dr. Long.
Do bring your card to your booster appointment
When it comes time to receive your COVID booster, take your card with you to your vaccine appointment so whoever is administering the shot can add it to your record.
If you're not yet eligible for a booster and are looking for ways to keep your card super safe, here's why you should avoid laminating it.
"Since your vaccination card may need to be updated with booster shot information in the future, laminating your card may eventually cause more headache than help," says Dr. Long. "If you really want to carry your original around, you're better off placing it in a water-tight, sheet protector. They're actually making these sized for vaccination cards."
If you’ve already laminated your vaccine card, don’t panic. If your card does need to be updated in the future, having it already laminated just means that you will receive a second vaccine card at that time — and you will need to keep track of both cards.