After you get a COVID-19 vaccine, you'll also receive a piece of paper proving you've been vaccinated. But what exactly is it for? And what should you do with it?
About the size of an index card, the COVID-19 Vaccination Card is about as important as the shot itself.
"So the CDC issued these cards to all providers administering the vaccine, and it's a proof of immunization card," said Allison Guste, the Assistant Vice President of Clinical and Operational Excellence.
No matter what vaccine you get, you'll be given one of these small documents. And hold onto it, because on it is information you need to save.
"After the first vaccine dose the health provider will fill-in exactly what vaccine you received, the lot number, and who administered the dose," said Guste. "So this card does contain personal health information so it has name, date of birth, some of them have your medical record on them."
If you're getting a second dose, you'll need to bring it with you to that appointment as well. After that though, Guste says, keep it in a safe place.
"Wherever they keep the rest of their vital documents, their birth certificate, their social security card," she said. "Many patients are choosing to laminate it, it's also a symbol of pride for a lot of patients."
There's also speculation about what it could be used for in the future. Some suggesting you may have to show proof of vaccination before entering large events, going on a cruise or other travel.
"I think we're all making assumptions on the card and what future purposes it could have," she said. "What we do know is that many countries for international travel are requiring COVID testing, and so documentation of your testing and documentation of your antibody status is being requested already, and so we make assumptions based on that knowledge that future immunizations will be required as well."
Bottom line, hang onto it. That way, if you ever do need it, you'll know exactly where it is.
If you lose the card, there are ways you can get another copy. First, reach back out to the place you got the shot. Also, if it's part of a larger organization, they may have a patient portal you can log onto and print a copy. If not, you can go to LALinks.org, the online database that's keeping track of every person in Louisiana who's gotten a vaccine (including COVID-19 vaccines). You can go there and get a copy. However, if you went out of state for the vaccine, that dose or inoculation won't be in the system.
Also, the FBI has warned about possible scams with the CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Card. It's important before you post anything on social media, to block out personal information on the card and the dose information and data on it as well.