What Happens If You Lose Your COVID-19 Vaccine Card?

You've probably experienced losing and replacing certain things at one time or another — your keys, your glasses, your phone. But what happens if you lose your COVID-19 vaccine card?

For those who have not yet received the vaccine, the COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card is the key document that helps people stay on top of their vaccination schedule and lets health officials keep track of who has received their shots. "Everyone will be issued a written card that they can put in their wallet that will tell them what they had and when their next dose is due," associate director of the Immunization Action Coalition, Kelly Moore, tells Prevention.

And if you think getting a vaccine card is a new thing — it's not. "There was a time when pediatricians were giving out vaccination cards to parents after routine childhood vaccines, but so many parents lost them and didn't keep up with them that people gave that up about 25 years ago," explains William Schaffner, M.D., an infectious disease specialist and professor at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

So, what's a good back-up plan?

When you receive your first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, the healthcare practitioner administering the shot will give you your vaccine card. Before you have the potential to lose the card, Business Insider recommends that you take a picture of it after your first dose. But remember, don't post the photo online. Doing so can make it easier for scammers to get ahold of your personal information or create fake cards.

However, if you lose your card before taking a photograph, you should be able to simply return to where you received your shot and get a replacement. If you aren't able to get in touch with the health provider that gave you your vaccination, your state health department's immunization information system should have a record of your information. Alternatively, if you enrolled in either V-Safe or VaxText, you should be able to obtain your COVID-19 vaccine information through these portals (via Detroit Free Press).

Once you're fully vaccinated, there is a good chance you will need the vaccine card for travel, so be sure to keep it in your wallet or another safe and accessible place (via ABC News).

There's no need to worry if you lose your vaccine card. There are many alternative ways to get the information and a new card. However, it's a good idea to photocopy your card in case you do lose it.