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Experts say a vaccination card helps keep track of your vaccines as well as provide proof that you’ve been inoculated. Victoria Jones/Getty Images
  • People who get the COVID-19 vaccine will be given a vaccination card.
  • The main purpose is for an individual to keep track of which vaccine they received and the dosage.
  • It can also serve as a reminder on when to get a second dose.
  • The card could be important as proof of a vaccination.

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If you choose to get a COVID-19 vaccine when it’s available, you will receive a complimentary vaccination card after your first dose.

You can use this card thereafter to recall important health information, including the type of COVID-19 vaccine received and the dates of first and second doses.

“As far as the vaccine, it will be a two-part series, meaning a shot will be given, then anywhere from 21 to 28 days, the client will require a second vaccination to complete the series,” says Lisa Meadows, APRN-BC, director of the Healthy Kids Outreach Programs for Child Health Advocacy & Outreach at St. Louis Children’s Hospital in Missouri and a board member at the American School Health Association.

“Of importance is that there are two drug makers who have obtained approval thus far: Pfizer and Moderna,” Meadows told Healthline.

“Once you start the series, you have to get the second shot by the same drug manufacturer, meaning you cannot get one Moderna shot and one Pfizer shot to complete the series,” she noted.

Dr. Carolyn B. Bridges, FACP, is the associate director for adult immunization at the Immunization Action Coalition.

She says vaccination or shot cards have been used for decades, and this is just one of several ways that individuals can help keep track of critical information related to their COVID-19 vaccination status.

This is not the only existing record. It is an extra record that can be put in a wallet or purse and kept for personal medical records.

“State providers who get these vaccines will report to the immunization registries,” says Bridges.

“We want to have redundant systems in recordkeeping in place so that there are backups, to make sure that people get the right dose at the right time with the correct vaccine,” she told Healthline.

Bridges added that these records can be useful for people entering or working in professions such as healthcare where vaccination records may be required.

And while it’s still unclear whether or not these vaccination cards will be mandatory for future air travel, a digital vaccine passport for travelers is already in its final stages of development by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), an airline trade association representing 290 airlines worldwide.

The passport will provide certified COVID-19 health information from medical facilities and share that information with airlines and border authorities as a method of protecting public health.

Rather than a physical card, the passport will be accessed via an app.

If you have questions about your vaccination status or how your records are being stored and used, Bridges says it is best to reach out to your state or city’s Immunization Information System, otherwise known as a vaccine registry.

It might still seem too early to be talking about COVID-19 vaccination records, but some groups are not far off from receiving their first dose.

On Friday, the Food and Drug Administration approved an emergency use authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in individuals 16 years of age and older.

An FDA panel will discuss an emergency approval for the Moderna, Inc., COVID-19 vaccine in individuals 18 years and older on December 17.

“At this point in time each state is devising their vaccination distribution plan,” said Meadows.

“The first phase, which starts as early as [this] week, will be to vaccinate long-term care facilities and healthcare workers who have direct patient contact or those with potential contact with infected material with the initial shipment of vaccine,” she added.

“Once these categories of individuals have had the chance to receive the vaccination, it will broaden to those who are in the high-risk category (18 to 64 years old), first responders, and those with critical infrastructure positions (i.e., high-risk or those who work in child care, schools, etc.),” she said.

“With time, you will see increased vaccinations produced and in phase 2 you will see populations with increased risk (i.e., prisoners, homeless, etc.) and phase 3 will be the general population,” said Meadows.

“It is hoped the states receive the phase 2 vaccination with the potential timeline of early spring 2021 and phase 3 late spring 2021,” she said.

Experts say that after you are vaccinated, you should store your official record in a safe and secure place that you will remember.

It is also a good idea to make a copy, just in case.

“It is recommended those who have the shot take a picture of their vaccination card with their phones if they have one,” says Meadows.

A photocopy is another option.

“That way if the card is lost you still have a record and can provide this information to the distribution centers where the vaccine is administered,” Meadows said.