CAROLINE MORSE TEEL
With numerous countries requiring proof of vaccination for entry, your vaccine card is becoming just as important as your passport, so treat it with the same amount of care. Here are five important things you should know about your vaccine card:
Don’t Laminate Your Card
You’ll notice your vaccine card contains a number of empty lines—that’s because it’s likely the vaccines will require follow-up booster doses in the future.
Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla recently told CNBC, “A likely scenario is that there will be likely a need for a third dose, somewhere between six and 12 months and then from there, there will be an annual revaccination.”
You’ll want to be able to document any subsequent boosters of the vaccine on your card, which you won’t be able to do if it’s laminated. Instead, get a waterproof plastic sleeve to store your vaccine card in and keep it safe from damage.
If you want to laminate a card that you can carry with you when you travel, Staples and Office Depot are offering free lamination for vaccine cards, and they will make a copy of the card to laminate (letting you keep the original editable).
Keep a Digital Copy
Just like you should have a digital copy of your passport that you can easily access while traveling, you should have one of your vaccine card. Take a picture of the front and back of your card on your phone, and save it to the cloud.
Pro tip: If you have an iPhone, you can scan a copy of your vaccine card. Open a new note in the notes app on your phone, and click the camera icon at the bottom. A menu will pop up and you can choose “scan documents”, and then use your camera to scan the front and back of your card.
Don’t Share it on Social Media
Getting the vaccine is certainly something to celebrate, but hold up your “just vaccinated” sticker or show off your bandaid for a social media snap rather than your vaccine card. Your vaccine card contains sensitive personal information that you don’t want to make accessible to anyone on the internet.
Additionally, the Better Business Bureau (BBB), points out “fake vaccine cards have been advertised for sale…posting photos of your card can help provide scammers with information they can use to create and sell phony ones.”
Know What to Do If You Lose Your Card
Don’t panic—your vaccination site should have a record of your vaccination and can give you a new card. If the vaccination site has closed or doesn’t have your information on file, contact the Immunization Information System in your state, which tracks vaccinations.
Keep it in a Safe Place
Don’t carry your vaccination card around with you in your wallet, where it can easily get damaged or stolen. Unless you’ll need to show it (like at a border crossing or second vaccine appointment), keep it somewhere safe like you do with your passport. A waterproof and fireproof safe is an inexpensive and secure storage solution.