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What to do if you lose your US vaccination card

  • >> Azi Paybarah, The New York Times
    Published: 2022-01-29 01:25:36 BdST

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Vaccination record cards are prepared for distribution as healthcare workers take part in a rehearsal for the administration of the Pfizer coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine at Indiana University Health in Indianapolis, Indiana, US, Dec 11, 2020. REUTERS/Bryan Woolston

More than a year ago, when COVID-19 vaccines became available in the United States and jabs started going into arms, it became a point of pride for some people to show off a bandaged shoulder and a white COVID-19 Vaccination Record card.

But as the pandemic rolled on, and the bandages came off, some people lost track of those awkward 4.25-by-3.5-inch cards.

WHAT IF IT IS LOST?

Relax. Many health departments can provide you with your vaccination information. The records themselves aren’t lost.

But if you’re hoping to use that card to prove your vaccination status at work or, say, to travel to a country with a more digital-first approach to record keeping, losing it may make it harder for you.

Here’s what to do.

YOUR VACCINATION RECORDS MIGHT BE ON YOUR PHONE.

You could be lucky enough to live in one of the states that let people access their vaccination records from their smartphones. Those states include Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Utah and Washington.

Other states have websites where vaccination information can be requested, usually as a PDF or email. Those states include Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Wisconsin.

Things get a little more complicated if you’re in one of the states that didn’t go digital, unfortunately. But you should be able to get your vaccination records by requesting them from your state or county health department.

COULD YOUR DOCTOR GIVE YOU ANOTHER CARD?

Your doctor might have extra CDC-issued white cards, and they should at least have a record of when and where you received your vaccine shot(s) and booster(s).

And most states require health care providers who administer vaccine shots to log that information with state health officials. So state health officials should have that information, too.

NO, THE CDC WILL NOT SEND YOU ANOTHER ONE.

It wasn’t actually the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that gave you that card bearing its logo. The agency provides them to state health departments, which in turn give them to local vaccination providers.

So, don’t call your friend’s cousin who works at the CDC looking for a favour.

IF YOU WERE VACCINATED AT CVS, WALMART OR WALGREENS, YOU’RE IN LUCK.

These giant chains can provide you records.

CVS: A record of the vaccination is available to patients via the CVS Pharmacy app or on the company’s website, a spokesperson said. A pharmacy employee can print a paper record for you, the spokesperson said.

Walgreens: The company keeps records of all vaccinations administered by its pharmacies, according to a spokesperson. If patients lose their physical card, they are encouraged to contact their pharmacy for a new one, the spokesperson said.

Walmart: If you were vaccinated at a store or one of its sponsored events, Walmart can verify your information and connect with your state’s immunisation registry. Once that is complete, Walmart will reissue a vaccine card to reflect the doses administered at Walmart, a spokesperson said in a statement. The company can also provide that information digitally or via a QR code.

© 2021 The New York Times Company