Writing for the New York Times, Azi Paybarah explores the different options available if you accidentally lose your Covid-19 vaccination card.
According to Paybarah, many people have likely misplaced "those awkward 4.25-by-3.5-inch white cards," which were never easy to store. And if you did lose your card, don't worry: Most health departments can provide you with your vaccination information.
If you were hoping to use the card to travel, Paybarah recommends several steps you can take to track down a presentable version of your vaccine status.
1. Check whether your state permits smartphone access to vaccine information
Certain states allow people to access their vaccination records from their smartphones, Paybarah writes, including:
Other states have websites where you can request your vaccination information, typically in a PDF or email. These states include:
2. Check with your physician for another card
Unfortunately, Paybarah writes, the process becomes a little more complicated if you live in a state that didn't "go digital." For people living in or traveling to such areas, Paybarah recommends checking with your physician to see if they have extra CDC-issued cards; if so, they may be able to simply issue you a new one. Regardless, they should be able to at least provide a record of when and where you received your vaccine shot(s) and booster(s), Paybarah writes.
Additionally, most states require health care providers who administer vaccine shots to report vaccine information to state health officials. This means state health officials should also have your vaccine information.
3. Check with your pharmacy
Alternatively, some retail pharmacies have made it easy to access your vaccine records, Paybarah writes.
For instance, if you got your vaccine at CVS, you can access your records on the CVS Pharmacy app, or the company's website. A pharmacy employee can also print a paper record for you.
If you were vaccinated at Walgreens, you should contact the pharmacy for a new card. According to a spokesperson, the company keeps records of all vaccinations administered by its pharmacies.
If you received your vaccine at a Walmart store or one of the company's sponsored events, the company will verify your information and connect with your state's immunization registry. Then, they will reissue a vaccine card that reflects the doses you received. Walmart also provides vaccine information digitally, or via a QR code.
Once you have paper records, save them by taking a high-quality photograph, writes Paybarah. If you received a QR code with your vaccination records, he suggests storing it in the digital wallet on your iPhone.
You can also use apps from Clear, Common Pass, Docket, and IBM to help keep track of your vaccination record, Paybarah adds.
But whatever you do, don't borrow, buy, or make your own vaccination card. "As with driver's licenses and passports, there are big penalties for misrepresenting your vaccination records," Paybarah writes. (Paybarah, New York Times, 1/26)
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