Disclaimer: At UPMC HealthBeat, we strive to provide the most up-to-date facts in our stories when we publish them. We also make updates to our content as information changes. However, education about COVID-19 can shift quickly based on new data, emerging variants, or other factors. The information in this story was accurate as of its publish date. We also encourage you to visit other reliable websites for updated information, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and your state and local governments.
Millions of Americans have begun to receive COVID-19 vaccines, and millions more will get them in the coming months.
When you get your COVID-19 vaccine, you will receive a card as a record of your vaccination. Many people have shared photos of their cards on social media and other public formats to celebrate their vaccination.
Getting a COVID-19 vaccine is a good reason for celebration. But it isn’t a good idea to post your COVID-19 vaccination card.
Learn more about why you shouldn’t share photos of your vaccination card.
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What’s on a COVID-19 Vaccination Card?
A COVID-19 vaccination card is a significant medical record. It shows you have a level of protection against COVID-19. You may need it as proof of your COVID-19 vaccination for reasons like travel.
The card includes important information about the vaccine you received, including:
- The manufacturer of the vaccine.
- The lot number of the vaccine.
- The location where you received the vaccine.
- The date of your first dose of vaccine.
- The date of your second dose of vaccine (if applicable).
The card also includes personal information, such as:
- Your name.
- Your birth date.
- A patient number.
Don’t Post Your COVID-19 Vaccine Card
According to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC), you shouldn’t share photos of your vaccination card on social media or other public places.
Because the card includes personal information, posting a photo could risk identity theft, the FTC says. Information like your date of birth can help identity thieves learn portions of your social security number.
And identity theft isn’t the only cause for concern.
According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), scammers have been selling fraudulent vaccination cards. Posting a picture of your vaccination card could provide the information necessary to create fake ones.
How to share you’ve gotten your COVID-19 vaccine without posting your card
There are other ways you can celebrate your vaccination without posting a photo of your card.
- Take a photo of your sticker: You may receive a sticker after getting vaccinated. Sharing a photo of your sticker is a low-risk way to celebrate your vaccination.
- Take a photo of your bandage: Show off your vaccination by taking a picture of the bandage over the injection site.
- Use your words: You don’t have to post a photo. Announce your vaccination on your social media pages through words, not photos.
- Share with your closest loved ones: If you do share a photo of your card, keep it in your closest circle — with people who won’t share your information.
The BBB says you should check security settings for your social media profiles to see who you’re sharing with. If you want to keep your information private or share it only with family and friends, adjust your settings accordingly.
If you think you have been the victim of identity theft, visit identitytheft.gov.
UPMC continues to distribute COVID-19 vaccines to people in our communities. For more information on our efforts, visit UPMC.com/CovidVaccine.
Better Business Bureau, BBB Tip: Don't Share Your COVID-19 Vaccine Card on Social Media. Link
Leah Croll, ABC News, Hang on to That COVID-19 Vaccination Card -- It's Important. Link
Federal Trade Commission, Social Media Is No Place for COVID-19 Vaccination Cards. Link
Christine Hauser, New York Times, Is Your Vaccine Card Selfie a Gift for Scammers? Maybe. Link
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