You thought your ID and passport were your most precious travel documents. This summer add a small white piece of paper, better known as your COVID Card, to the list.
Some destinations, cruise lines, and major sports venues are already requiring travelers to provide proof that they have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19. Other businesses, like Krispy Kreme, are offering free items and other perks to people who can prove they’ve been inoculated.
48 million Americans have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19, and the only proof the COVID vaccine was received is typically the paper vaccination record card with the CDC logo in the upper corner. The vaccination card tells what Covid-19 vaccine was received, the date and location where it was received. However, that information is not being stored in any centralized, easily searchable database. Possibly because of HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act – health privacy) laws.
Should the card become lost, return to the vaccination site and ask for a replacement. “If you do not receive a Covid-19 vaccination card at your appointment, contact the vaccination provider site where you got vaccinated or your state health department to find out how you can get a card,” says the CDC website.
This can be easy if the vaccine was administered at a pharmacy chain but more difficult if it was received from traveling cross-state or inter-state and received at a drive-through or pop-up event.
All Covid-19 vaccination providers are required to report data within 72 hours into their state’s immunization system, so there should be a back-up record of vaccine issuance status there. The CDC has a list of the Immunization Information System (IIS) in each state, which is where to start should a replacement card be obtained or there is difficulty recalling the location or contact information of the facility.
Digital vaccine passports may become a reality in the future, but currently, a paper vaccination record card is an extremely valuable possession. Here are five easy ways to protect it for safekeeping.
Make a photocopy of the vaccination card.
First and foremost, make a duplicate of the card. Keep a hard copy on file in a safe place.
Laminate the CDC vaccination record card.
Laminating the vaccination card will make it more durable and protect it from wear and tear.