Protecting Your COVID-19 Vaccine Card
More than 50 million—or about 15%—adults in the United States are now fully vaccinated against the SARS-CoV-2 virus. States are rapidly expanding eligibility requirements for vaccination, and as more and more people get vaccinated—and cases and hospitalizations drop—COVID-19 restrictions loosen. This means the little white card from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is becoming more important than ever.
Your vaccine card is essential
If you’ve heard the term “vaccine passport” recently, it may become our new reality. Since your vaccine card is proof that you’re vaccinated against COVID-19, plans are being developed for a standardization process for proving vaccination status. Several government agencies are currently in talks with various companies about the logistics, but the federal government has said they won’t be mandating vaccination credentials or creating a centralized vaccination database.
For now, without any concrete vaccination credentialing required in most places, the best thing to do with your vaccine card is to keep it safe. Consider keeping it with other important documents like your birth certificate, social security card, or passport.
Digitize your card
If you’re an employee of InVision, you may have already completed this step. Creating a photocopy of your vaccine card is a good idea to ensure you always have a digital copy of your vaccination status while keeping the physical card in a safe location.
That said, try to avoid sharing your vaccine card on social media or with other people. Since your card has a lot of potential to become a golden ticket, it’s better to keep it safe and personal.
Laminate your card—if you want
Staples and Office Depot announced free laminating services for your card (Office Depot and their affiliate Office Max only until July 25), but you can also choose to do home laminating by purchasing the necessary materials from your local office supply store.
While the potential for vaccine boosters gives some people pause before deciding to laminate their card, it’s no cause for worry. You’d likely receive a new card if booster shots become necessary. All you need to worry about before laminating your card is if the information on it is correct, like the spelling of your name and your birthdate.
Regardless, if you have a digital copy of your vaccine card, laminating it isn’t really necessary.
What to do if your card is lost or damaged
Accidents happen, and the laminating process may cause the writing on your card to smudge. If you need a new card, start by revisiting the place where you received your vaccine, or the organization or business that facilitated your vaccine. They should be able to provide you with a new card.
If revisiting the location of your vaccine isn’t an option, contact the immunization information system (IIS) in the state where you received your vaccine via that state’s health department.
Keep in mind that the CDC does not have record of any individual person’s vaccination status.
We’re not out of the woods yet
Despite millions of people receiving vaccines each day, it’s premature to declare victory. Some states, like Michigan, are seeing cases and hospitalizations spike among younger and healthier people as COVID-19 variants take hold in the nation. Without continued universal masking, frequent hand washing, social distancing, and avoidance of crowded or poorly ventilated spaces, we may yet find ourselves repeating history.
Please continue to follow CDC guidance for COVID-19 prevention and public health recommendations for fully vaccinated people.