More than 100 million Americans have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine shot. The proof? A 4-by-3-inch paper “vaccination record card” issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In a post-pandemic world, however, that humble card for those who are fully vaccinated could become an important document used for travel, attending events, returning to the post-pandemic office and other purposes. Here’s what experts say you should know about vaccination cards.
Photograph your record card
The first thing experts recommend once you’ve been vaccinated is taking a digital photograph of both sides of your personal record card. You can also scan the card and save the file on a laptop or desktop, said Megan Ranney, an emergency physician at Rhode Island Hospital and an associate professor at Brown University.
One thing you shouldn’t do: Share your personal proof of inoculation on Facebook or other social media sites, which could lead to identity theft because the CDC card includes a person’s date of birth as well as first name and last name.
“I would not post it to social media with my birthday showing. It is a unique identifier that could allow somebody to potentially steal your identity, so I would first be careful about that,” epidemiologist Danielle Ompad, a professor at the NYU School of Global Public Health, told CBS MoneyWatch.
By contrast, you may want to print a copy of the photo of the vaccination card and store it in your wallet. While some experts advise against having the original card laminated, so that booster shots of vaccine can be added if that becomes necessary, others say that’s OK because a more sophisticated record-keeping system is likely to be in place by then.