Your COVID-19 vaccine card is a medical record of your vaccination, like your childhood immunization records. Here's what to do with it.

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. 

When you get your COVID-19 vaccine, you should receive a white vaccination card. Many people wonder what these cards are and what they should do with them. Below are answers to common questions about these vaccine cards.

What’s a COVID-19 Vaccine Card?

This card is a medical record of your vaccination, like your childhood immunization records. It contains important information:

  • Your name.
  • Your birthdate.
  • Which vaccine you received (Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson).
  • The lot number of the vaccine.
  • The date of your first dose.
  • The date of your second dose (if you had one).
  • Where you received your vaccine.

If you did not receive a card, you should contact the vaccination site or your state health department to request one. This card is an important record of the specific vaccine you received. If you received an mRNA vaccine, you should bring the card with you when you return for your second dose.

Never Miss a Beat!

Get Healthy Tips Sent to Your Phone!

Message and data rates may apply. Text the word STOP to opt out and HELP for help. Click here to view the privacy and terms.

Why Is This Card Important?

The COVID-19 vaccine card has several important functions:

  • It lets the vaccine provider make sure you receive the correct second dose.
  • It tracks the lot number of your vaccine — that is, the shipment of vaccines your shot came from. If public health officials learn something about a specific lot of vaccines, you will know if yours came from that lot.
  • The card proves that you received a vaccine. It is not a legal document, but you may need it for activities that require COVID-19 vaccinations, such as travel.

It’s not clear yet if you will need your card to get a “vaccine passport.” Some states may create vaccine passports for businesses, sports events, or entertainment events that choose to require vaccination. New York has issued a vaccine passport, but some state governors have said their state will not use them.

Students may need their card to show proof of vaccination to their school or university. Some businesses may ask employees to show the card as proof of vaccination. Some countries also may require proof of vaccination to enter the country.

What Should I Do With It?

Keep your card in a safe place at home after receiving all doses of your vaccine. You can store it in a safe place with your social security card, birth certificate, and other important papers. If you have a passport, it fits nicely inside the passport for safe storage.

If you took a photo of it, make sure you can access the photo from different places. If the photo is only stored on your phone and you lose your phone, you lose the copy. You also can make photocopies of the card to store in a safe place.

Do not post your card on social media or any other public site. It contains personal information that scammers can use for identity theft. It also could provide information for people making fake cards.

Bring your card with you the next time you see your primary care provider or other regular doctors. Those providers can enter the information into your medical record.

Some people may want to laminate their vaccine card. However, providers write information about boosters and additional doses on your original card. Laminating the card makes it more difficult to record additional shots.

What Happens If I Lose My Vaccine Card?

It’s a good idea to take a photo of your card in case you lose it. If you lose the card before your appointment for your second dose, you can get other proof of your first shot. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends these steps:

  • Contact the vaccination site where you received the vaccine to ask for a replacement. If you received your doses at different vaccine sites, experts recommend contacting the site of the second dose.
  • If you cannot contact the provider who gave you the vaccine, call the state health department’s immunization information system (IIS). The contact information for each IIS is here. Vaccine sites report COVID-19 vaccinations to the state’s IIS.
  • If you enrolled in V-safe or VaxText after your first dose, you can visit the website to look up your vaccine information.
  • If you cannot get a copy of your vaccine information, go to your scheduled appointment and ask for help.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published on , and was last reviewed on .

Allyson Chiu. All about your coronavirus vaccine card (and what to do if you lose it). Washington Post. Link

Excelsior Pass. Covid-19 Vaccine. New York State Department of Health. Link

National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD), Division of Viral Diseases. Getting Your COVID-19 Vaccine. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Link

National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD), Division of Viral Diseases. If You Need a Second Shot. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Link

About UPMC

Headquartered in Pittsburgh, UPMC is a world-renowned health care provider and insurer. We operate 40 hospitals and 800 doctors’ offices and outpatient centers, with locations throughout Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, West Virginia, and internationally. We employ 4,900 physicians, and we are leaders in clinical care, groundbreaking research, and treatment breakthroughs. U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside as one of the nation’s best hospitals in many specialties and ranks UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh on its Honor Roll of America’s Best Children’s Hospitals. We are dedicated to providing Life Changing Medicine to our communities.