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What to do and what not to do with your COVID-19 vaccination card

Those who have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19, or are in the process of becoming fully vaccinated, have come into possession of a CDC COVID-19 vaccination card.

The white card is filled out with the vaccine receiver’s personal information, as well as the date on which the vaccine was received, the healthcare professional or clinic site at which it was given, and the manufacturer and lot number of the vaccine received.

The card is also printed with text asking the receiver to keep it.

But why should we keep it? For how long? Where should we keep it? How can we protect it from damage? What if we lose it? Do we need to carry it with us at all times?

Monongalia County Health Department COVID-19 nurse Edward Abbott, RN, was able to answer some of these questions.

He said the vaccine cards are verification of the holder’s vaccination. If the individual still needs a second dose, the card lets a vaccinator know for sure if the individual previously received a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. For that reason, vaccination cards must be taken to an individual’s second vaccine appointment.

Even after an individual receives their second dose, they should still hang on to the card in case of a recall because the vaccine lot number is listed on the card, Abbott said.

He said there is also a future possibility that for transportation and travel purposes, individuals might need to show proof that they have been fully vaccinated.

As for whether we should keep our vaccine cards on us at all times, Abbott said: “They should be readily available. A lot of people take a photo on their phone for record. I have also heard of people getting them laminated.”

Laminating the cards is either so popular or so highly recommended that Office Depot and Staples are offering free completed vaccine card lamination with the use of a coupon or coupon code.

Office Depot has made their lamination coupon available on social media and is offering the service through July 25.

Staples customers may use the coupon code 81450 to get their card laminated. The company has not yet announced an end date for this service.

Abbott said individuals should wait until after receiving the second dose of a two-dose vaccine to have their cards laminated.

If a person loses their COVID-19 vaccination card or were not given one at their first vaccination appointment, they should contact the vaccination provider site where they received their first shot or their state health department for information on how they can obtain a card.

Vaccination providers are required to report COVID-19 vaccinations to their state’s immunization information system. So, if a person is unable to contact their vaccination provider site or state health department directly, they can contact the state’s IIS system.

The one thing you shouldn’t do with your COVID-19 vaccination card is post a selfie with it.

According to the Better Business Bureau, if a person’s social media privacy settings are not adequately restrictive, posting a photo of or with their vaccination card might give away valuable information recorded on the card, such as their full name, birthday and the information about where they received their vaccine.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.