The iconic white COVID-19 vaccination cards are being taken out, marking the end of an era for a crucial pandemic record.
Since the federal government no longer distributes COVID-19 immunizations, the U.S. New cards are no longer being produced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
According to the most recent information available from the CDC, the federal government sent more than 980 million cards between late 2020, when the first immunizations were released, and May 10.
Since the days of keeping the cards hidden in handbags and wallets to guarantee entrance into events, pubs, and restaurants are largely gone, federal and local health officials don’t anticipate the discontinuance of the cards to be a particularly significant change.
Your vaccination card is still acceptable as proof of immunization if you have kept it. If not, COVID-19 immunization records must be requested, just like those for other vaccines, by anyone who needs them.
The clinic, pharmacy, or health department that administered the shot is frequently able to share those records.
There is a vaccination register in every state and in some towns, but the regulations for when data is included and the methods for getting copies of your records vary.
Depending on state rules, records from the early pandemic mass vaccination sites should also be accessible in such registries. For immunization histories, there is no national registry.
For instance, Texas mandates that patients’ written consent be obtained before being added to the registry, according to David Andres Alegria, spokesman for the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District.
The city-specific record systems for Philadelphia and Wyoming both demand that vaccine providers report every vaccination. Many states provide online or through an app access to digital immunization records for individuals.
A certificate or QR code that attests to a user’s vaccination status can be saved. Some websites even keep tabs on patients and notify them when another appointment is approaching.
One benefit of the pandemic, according to Jeff Chorath, who oversees the Washington state vaccination information system, was having more power over your patient record, particularly your immunization record.
In Washington, there are two digital choices for accessing vaccination records: one that provides a complete list of every vaccination a person has received and another that only includes COVID-19 vaccines.
It can take longer to access your records because other states don’t offer the same possibilities.
Additionally, there can be gaps in state databases; for instance, if you received a vaccination from a federal healthcare provider, that information would be kept in a different system.
If you still have your old card, hold off on sending it to the Smithsonian for the time being.
According to Heidi Gurov, a nurse consultant for the Wyoming Department of Health, you should save it just like any other health record. She advised keeping them in a secure location at all times.
According to CDC director Dr. Mandy Cohen, four million Americans have received the most recent COVID-19 vaccine since it was authorized last month, and a total of ten million have received it.