What to Do If You've Lost Your COVID Vaccine Card

Over 70 percent of Americans have now received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Once you've received your first shot, you should be issued with a COVID vaccine card. This is a small white record card issued by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Much like childhood immunization records, your COVID-19 vaccination card is a record of your vaccination status and a reminder of when your next dose is due.

It will include helpful information for healthcare providers including which vaccine you received, the lot number, date and vaccination site. This can serve as a quick way to ensure you will get the correct second dose.

What Should I Do If I've Lost My Vaccine Card?

While your vaccine card is the only official record you have personally, it is not the only place your vaccine history is logged as all your vaccinations are recorded electronically.

If you lose your card, the CDC recommends first contacting your vaccine provider where you received your first shot. Dr. Amesh Adalja, senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security told ABC News they may be able to produce a replacement card.

Woman receives Covid vaccination record card
A woman receives her Covid vaccination card after a shot of Johnson & Johnson at a pop-up vaccination center at the beach, in South Beach, Florida Eva Marie/Getty Images

If you are unable to contact them, get in touch with your state's health department's immunization information system (IIS).

All vaccine providers are required to share Covid-19 vaccination records with your state's IIS. You can find contact details for each state's IIS on the CDC's website.

You may have opted to enroll in either the VaxText or V-Safe schemes after your first dose. If so, these can help you access information about both doses, though don't serve as an official record of vaccination status.

The former is a free text messaging service that sends weekly reminders on when your second shot is due or overdue in English or Spanish.

To participate, you will need to provide basic vaccine information including the vaccine name and date your first dose was received so if you have lost your card, you will be able to access your vaccination information through this service if you signed up.

V-Safe is the CDC's vaccine safety monitoring system and is a smartphone-based tool using personalized surveys to check if you experienced any side effects and can also remind you when your next appointment is due.

If you've made every effort to get a replacement or copy of your vaccine card and still need your second shot, talk to a vaccination provider.

How Can I Keep My Vaccine Card Safe?

The CDC recommends taking a photo of your vaccine card on your phone in case you misplace the hard copy. To ensure it doesn't get buried in your camera roll, you can add it to a custom album to make it easy to find.

Before sharing it with anyone or your social media feeds, be wary that your vaccine card includes sensitive personal information such as your name, date of birth, vaccination site and lot number which could all be used by hackers to steal your identity.

Nurse administers dose of Pfizer Covid vaccine
A registered nurse administers a dose of the Pfizer Covid vaccine during a three-day vaccination clinic in Wilmington, California. Mario Tama/Getty Images

While it might seem like a good idea to get your card laminated, this means that healthcare providers can't note down any additional useful information like if you need a booster shot. In July, vaccine manufacturer Pfizer advocated for a potential third dose of its vaccine.

Currently, there are not guidelines in place that mean you need to take your vaccine card on your person at all times so it's best to keep it in a safe place.

Dr. Shideh Shafie, assistant professor of emergency medicine at Brown University, told Health: "I keep mine with my passport, and keeping the card in a place where one stores things like deeds, social security cards, or birth certificates makes a lot of sense."

There are free apps available which allow you to upload a scanned copy of your vaccine card like Clear, VaxYes and Airside, while some states now provide access to digital health records including California, Colorado, Louisiana, New Jersey, New York and Utah.

Some vaccine providers such as Walmart and CVS are also offering digital records to recipients.

Newsweek has reached out to the CDC for comment.