You may need to prove your vaccination status.
I will never forget the feeling of relief that I had when I got my first COVID vaccination and scheduled my second. I left the vaccination center with a flimsy paper card, issued by the State on behalf of the CDC and filled in by hand. I hope that you have one, because it means that you are vaccinated. Not only is it safer for you to be out among people in public, but you are also keeping vulnerable people safe by reducing the risk that you are a vector.
You may need to prove your vaccination status some time if you want to attend sporting events, concerts and weddings – and for travel, especially abroad, you are likely to need ‘proof of vaccination’. Some states are considering launching apps which will provide proof of vaccination, but until that happens – keep your card safe.
The coveted card is actually a flimsy piece of paper. It would be easy to lose or destroyed by getting it wet. Here are some suggestions about how to deal with your vaccination card.
Make at least one copy.
Take a photo of your card, or scan it – or both. I scanned mine and then printed out the front and back on printer paper. I cut them out, taped the front and back together and I carry this copy of my card in my wallet, just in case I need it.
Add your COVID Vaccination information to your medical record.
Most of us were not vaccinated in our doctor’s office, so our Primary Care Physician will not automatically have our vaccination information. Make a copy of your card and send it to your PCP if you have one.
Keep your card in a safe place.
If you have a Passport, you probably take good care of it. I have put my Vaccination card inside my Passport for safe keeping.
Protect your card.
Check your card to make sure that it is the standard, 3” x 4” size, although some States may issue slightly larger cards. I have chosen to protect my card in a 3” x 4” plastic sleeve with a ziploc like seal to make it waterproof. There are lots of choices.
I protect my ‘real’ card in a simple clear plastic waterproof sleeve. I have tried several of the ones offered online so that I could recommend the best to you. They are all pretty much the same and mostly made of vinyl. I prefer the cards in this ten pack because they are a little thicker and seem sturdier than the others. I like the slightly rounded corners. Each card protector comes with the lanyard which might be useful in some situations to keep the card both available and safe. COVID Vaccine are protector, ten-pack with lanyards, $8.99.
Archivists prefer Melinex and Mylar to the vinyl in most card protectors. These 3” x 4” Mylar envelopes will protect your card, from wear and exposure, but they are open on one end and will not entirely protect it from water. One option is to put your card into a Mylar sleeve and then put the sleeve into a larger protector, or a strong zip lock bag. 3” x 4” Mylar sleeve. $1.95 each.
These handmade vaccination card holders come in 50 patterns. They are eye-catching so it will be easy to find your card, but they are not waterproof. They hold a 3” x 4” card, but not the card when it is in a waterproof holder. Handmade card holders, $7.99 each.
One option is to laminate your card. Staples, Office Depot, Office Max will laminate your card for you and your local copy store can probably help you as well. However, experts suggest that we avoid laminating this card because the plastic and adhesive might damage the card over time. You may need to update the information on your card if you get a booster and it is impossible to update the information on the card if it is laminated.
If you have already misplaced your card, experts advise you to go back to the center where you were vaccinated and ask them to issue you with a new card. Nancy lost her card and was no longer in the state where she received her vaccines. Every state has instructions on replacing your card on its website. Google the state with the words ‘lost vaccine card’ and you should be guided to the right spot. The CDC is not yet tracking individual vaccinations at the federal level, but your State has your record.
For those of you with Medicare cards, it is a good idea to protect them as well. This Medicare card sleeve is not waterproof, but it fits easily into one of the waterproof sleeves you got for your COVID vaccination card. Five Medicare card protectors. $6.71.