After receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, you’ll be given a vaccine card. If you receive a two-dose vaccine, you should receive your card after your first dose, which will be updated upon your second dose. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this card tells you which vaccine you received, how many doses, the date(s) you received it and where you received it.
When you receive this card, you may be wondering what its purpose is, what you’ll need it for and what you should do with it. Here’s what you need to know.
Using Your Vaccine Card
Your vaccine card serves the purpose of keeping information about your vaccination record for personal reference—but you may need to present it in certain situations. As you’ll likely need the card, consider taking a picture of the card as a backup, and remember to keep your physical copy of the card safe.
Here are some situations when you’ll use your vaccine card:
- If you receive a two-dose vaccine, you’ll want to bring your card to your second appointment.
- After you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, you may be able to start doing some things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic. Some activities, such as traveling, attending events, entering venues and more may require a proof of vaccination. Some countries are already requiring visitors to provide proof of vaccination, as are Norwegian Cruise Lines.
- Some businesses may offer perks to those who show they’ve received the COVID-19 vaccine.
The vaccine card can be used to show that you’ve received the COVID-19 vaccine, and in these cases, the card will be your proof of vaccination.
Keeping Your Vaccine Card Safe
While you may want to consider taking a picture of your vaccination card as a backup copy, it’s important to also keep your physical document safe. Make sure to keep your vaccination card in a safe place for when you need it for future use.
Currently, health care providers are exploring digital copies of vaccine cards. However, at this time, the physical card remains the primary way for documenting your vaccination record. You may consider laminating it, but experts are advising against it for the time being, since booster shots may be necessary in the future.
If You Don’t Receive a Card or You Lose It
If you do not receive a 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.
If you lose your card, you may be able to simply receive a new card from site where you were vaccinated. You can read more about what to do if your card is lost here.
A vaccine card is the best way to keep your COVID-19 vaccination record and to show that you’ve been vaccinated. Make sure you keep close track of the card for when you want to reference your vaccination information, or you need to use your card to show that you’ve been vaccinated. For more tips on COVID-19, including at-home COVID testing, visit our News & Insights page.
To learn more about COVID-19 vaccines, check out resources from the CDC.