When was the last time you needed to use your Covid-19 vaccine card?
Chances are you can’t remember.
During the height of the pandemic, it was the key to entering some concert venues, traveling to certain countries and more. Now, the once critical document has all but been forgotten.
As people have adjusted to post-pandemic living, are these small white cards still relevant? Experts share when you do — and don’t — need your card, plus how to replace it in case it’s gone missing.
Treat your vaccine card as a medical record
Your Covid-19 vaccine card should be included as part of your medical record, similar to your personal vaccination record, said Kathleen Conley, spokesperson for the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That way, the card can be used as proof of vaccination when you and your health care provider make future medical decisions, she said.
In addition to providing a copy to your primary care provider, it’s recommended to keep a personal record of it as well.
“Your provider might keep these records for a period of time, however, it is a good practice to keep copies of your records just in case you need them later on,” Conley said via email.
You probably don’t need your card to travel
The federal government no longer requires people to show their vaccine card when traveling to the United States from outside the country, said Tori Emerson Barnes, executive vice president, public affairs and policy, at the U.S. Travel Association.
She added that the association is not aware of any vaccination requirements to travel within the US.
Most countries have also stopped requiring proof of vaccination to enter, but you should still check with your specific destination before leaving the US, Conley said.
How to replace your Covid-19 vaccine card
Don’t fret if you’ve misplaced your pocket-size document. There are several ways to replace it.
First, contact your vaccination provider to request a copy of your vaccine record, Conley said.
If that is not possible, get in contact with your state health department’s immunization program, she said. “Vaccination providers must report COVID-19 vaccinations to their state immunization information system (IIS) and related systems,” Conley said in an email.
While the IIS won’t be able to supply you with a new card, the group can give you a copy of your vaccination record, she said.
If you bring your vaccination record to your doctor’s office, staff there might be able to provide a new card.
Do not contact the CDC
It might sound logical to call the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to get your card replaced. After all, its logo is on the card.
However, the agency did not give you the card. The organization provides the cards to vaccine providers, who then provide it to you. This also means the CDC does not keep track of vaccine records, so reaching out to your state’s IIS is your best bet.
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