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I got my COVID Vaccine Card, What do I do with it?

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It still remains to be seen what sorts of activities will require proof of vaccination. It’s safe to assume that many countries will require vaccine cards to enter their borders, and that some employers will make vaccination mandatory. Same goes for cruise ships and potentially even concerts and sporting events

Suffice it to say, your vaccine card will likely be an important document if you want to do all the things you were doing before the pandemic. While systems are starting to emerge to digitize immunization records so that all you’ll need for proof is your phone, at this point it seems likely that you’ll need to show the physical card.

So first thing’s first: make copies. Specifically, take a photo of both the front and back of your card, and make multiple photocopies to store in a safe place at home, as you would for a passport. 

Of course, as many have already pointed out, you shouldn’t post your pics publicly: revealing your full name and birthdate could make you vulnerable to scammers.

It’s obviously not the end of the world if you lose your card, since vaccine providers can look up your records and make another one for you. However, you might as well save yourself the additional red tape, especially if you have an imminent reason for needing to prove that you’ve been vaccinated.

There’s been a lot of discussion about how to keep your vaccine card safe. It might make sense to buy some sort of protective sleeve or case for it – just make sure it’s 3 inches tall by 4 inches wide. 

While there’s been a lot of talk about getting cards laminated, it’s probably worth holding off on that for now, given the uncertainty about if, how and when future vaccine “booster shots” will be needed. (There are also reports that some printed labels that have been placed on vaccine cards become illegible when laminated.)


Prerana Sangani, MD, April 6, 2021