What happens if you lose your COVID vaccine card?

Losing something can be SO frustrating.
Losing something can be SO frustrating. (Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels)

What goes hand-in-hand with the COVID-19 vaccine? Your COVID card, of course.

You know the card to which we’re referring: It looks like an index card, and lists the day and location when and where you received your first dose, your second dose, and it says what type of vaccine you got: Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson. It’s almost like your receipt, and health officials have advised people to keep their cards in a safe spot.

But ... what if you misplace the card?

What if you lose it between doses?

Should you laminate it or not? (Actually, there’s a smart answer to that question right here).

Do you, or would you, know what to do?


We went searching for some answers to those very questions.

First things first: If you lose your card, who do you contact?

The answer varies a bit, state by state, but a good place to start is usually the place or organization that administered your vaccine. It’s important to note: You don’t want to contact the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, better known as the CDC, for this -- the CDC does not have vaccination record information, the group has said.

In related news, your state has an immunization information system, also called an IIS, that keeps records, like if you need to access your child’s immunization records.

But as an adult, there is no national organization that maintains vaccination records, the CDC said online: “The CDC does not have this information. The records that exist are the ones you or your parents were given when the vaccines were administered, and the ones in the medical record of the doctor or clinic where the vaccines were given.”

Will losing your card impact your second shot?

It shouldn’t.

Let’s say you lose your card in between your first and second doses, which is a two- to three-week waiting period.

If you’re already in the system after dose No. 1 (which you should be), and you’re scheduled at the same place where you received your first dose (which you should be), then a worker or volunteer there should be able to look you up.

An idea

We thought this was smart: Take a photo of your vaccination card, but not for social media -- remember, your name and birthday are listed, so you’ll want to keep those details private.

Instead, keep the photo of your card somewhere safe. Maybe you have an iPhone photos folder where you store important pics, screenshots or other information. Keep the picture there, so that if you DO lose your card, at least you have it on your phone or iCloud.

Remember, because the CDC is not collecting information or creating a database on who received COVID-19 vaccines, your card is your proof that you’ve gotten your shot or shots.

The cards were started as a helpful reminder to tell people when they needed to get their second doses of either Moderna or Pfizer (as Johnson & Johnson is a one-shot), but it’s possible you might need your card in the future, perhaps for certain sporting events or even travel. Officials have said that you shouldn’t have to carry it on you at all times, but storing it in a safe filing cabinet or desk drawer would be wise.

Anything you can do to keep this card safe, will help you out in the long run.


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