What to do if you lose your coronavirus vaccine card – and how to be more careful next time – Times-Herald

With California reopening swiftly and businesses increasingly needing vaccine proof from employees and customers, it’s time to remember where you stashed your precious COVID-19 vaccination card. It may soon become like a second ticket required for sporting events, international travel, and a return to some semblance of normalcy. So what if you lost it – or the dog ate it – or maybe you never had a card in the first place? Now what?

Here’s what you need to know about how to get a new vaccine card, where to keep it, and more.

Q: I lost my vaccine card. Can I get a new one?

A: Yes, don’t panic. You can get another card or something as good (we’ll explain in a second). This little piece of white paper they gave you is important, but it is not the only statement of your immunization status.

Q: How do I get a new card?

A: First, try to contact the place where you were vaccinated for a replacement. Start with where you had your second injection if you were dosed at two different places – for example, shoot one on CVS and shoot two on Walgreens.

Some places will give you a replacement card, others will give you a record of your vaccination, which is not necessarily on a small white card. It’s OK, however. What you are really looking for is the opportunity to present proof that you have been vaccinated against the coronavirus.

For anyone who has been bitten at CVS, your vaccination record is available at the pharmacy or to print on the CVS Pharmacy application and online. Walgreens is also working on the development of a digital vaccine dose map and tracker.

Q. What if my health care provider I was vaccinated with is unable to provide me with a new card or record?

A. You have other options. A spokesperson for the California Department of Public Health recommends contacting your local public health department to request the case. You can find the phone number for your county online. People vaccinated in Santa Clara County, for example, will be able to get a replacement card at one of the county’s mass vaccination sites, such as Levi’s Stadium and Gilroy High School.

Another option is to contact the state. Californians can call 800-578-7889 for immunization information or to complete a online form. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lists Contact information for each state.

Q: How does the state know that I have been vaccinated?

A: The state keeps secure and confidential immunization information system for residents, which should include a record of your coronavirus vaccinations. If you ask the state for your vaccination record, you will not get a white replacement card but rather a record of all your recorded vaccinations, including your COVID-19 vaccinations.

Q: I lost my card before my second dose. What should I do?

A: Don’t skip your second date just because you can’t find your card. Go to the meeting. They should be able to see your file and get you a new card.

Q: What should I do with my card after being vaccinated?

A: First, take photos (front and back) and save the electronic files. You can also make a copy and keep the card and a copy with your important documents. Most healthcare experts caution against commuting because it’s not exactly a solid document. If you need it for something specific, you can bring it.

George Rutherford, an infectious disease expert at UC San Francisco, stapled his vaccination card in his passport, next to his yellow fever card.

“Whenever I go somewhere I need to show it, like a basketball game for example, I take it with me,” said Rutherford. “Don’t keep it in your wallet and don’t take it out a thousand times.”

Some people have laminated their cards to protect them. But be careful. Some healthcare providers are warning people not to laminate cards in case we need them for future reminders and because the lamination could damage the ink. If you really want to laminate something, Santa Clara County suggests laminating a photocopy of the original map.

Jonathan Lee, Chief Medical Officer of Sutter West Bay Medical Group, suggests placing your card in a waterproof case.

“I actually just bought some from Amazon,” Lee said. “I have one for each of my family, and it was five dollars to get five of those little zippered plastic pouches. They are waterproof and we will just keep them with our family’s valuables. “

Q: I never want to carry my card again. Is there some kind of digital vaccine passport that I can use instead?

Not here. New York has something called the Excelsior Pass, which is a downloadable app that shows whether someone has been fully vaccinated. New Yorkers can use it to participate in concerts and baseball games. But California doesn’t have a Golden State equivalent, and there are no plans for a national pass.

CLEAR, the company that works with airports to help members go through security faster, is working on a validation of the COVID-19 vaccine, which will allow you to log into your healthcare account to confirm your immunization status.

John Swartzberg, Emeritus Professor of Infectious Diseases and Vaccinology at the UC Berkeley-UCSF Joint Medical Program, consulted with a number of companies who are “extremely interested in some form of documentation for their employees on people who have been vaccinated, as that would be fine. long time. way to ensure safety at work, ”he said. He would like to see the federal government or the state create a passport, rather than the piecemeal approach that is the current reality.

Q. How bad should I feel if I misplaced such an important medical document?

Swartzberg is the first to admit: even doctors are losing theirs.

“I just threw away my card,” said Swartzberg, a doctor for over 50 years. “I didn’t even think about it in January after receiving my second blow. My wife yelled at me.

But he was able to get his record from Sutter Health and the state.

“I would keep your card so you don’t go through the hassle of what I did and just have the documentation in case there was a reason the state didn’t get the information. that you have been vaccinated, ”Swartzberg said. “But I also want to reassure you that even if you don’t have the card, there is a way to find documents proving that you have been vaccinated.”

About Terry Gongora

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