What Happens If You Lose Your Vaccine Card

Other states have websites where vaccination information can be requested, usually as a PDF or email. Those states include Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin.

Lost COVID-19 Vaccination Card: How to Get a Replacement

Whether you misplaced your proof of vaccination record or accidentally damaged it, there are plenty of ways to get a new one.

Dashia Milden
March 25, 2022 3:15 a.m. PT
Dashia Milden Writer

Dashia is a staff writer for CNET Money who covers all angles of personal finance, including credit cards and banking. From reviews to news coverage, she aims to help readers make more informed decisions about their money. Dashia was previously a staff writer at NextAdvisor, where she covered credit cards, taxes, banking B2B payments. She has also written about safety, home automation, technology and fintech.

4 min read

COVID vaccination card

If you misplaced your vaccine card, your vaccination site may have proof that you got the shot.
Stefan Cristian Cioata/Getty Images

For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO and CDC websites.

Losing or damaging your COVID-19 vaccine card can be a nightmare, especially if you have plans to go somewhere that requires you to show proof of vaccination. So what can you do to get a replacement card as soon as possible?

While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention doesn’t keep vaccination status records, there are a variety of ways to retrieve your information — even if you went to a mass vaccination site that’s no longer around.

Read below to find out what to do if you lost or damaged your card. We’ve also got some tips for storing your vaccine status info digitally and we’ll explain why it’s never a good idea to buy a fake vaccine card.

How to replace your COVID vaccine card if you went to a mass vaccination site

You can probably still replace your COVID-19 vaccine record, even if you got your shot at a church or stadium or a pop-up vaccination site that’s no longer around.

Contact your county state’s health department: Most states have a phone number, email address and website where you can access your immunization records. You likely need to fill out an immunization request form and submit a photo ID. The process and how long it takes can vary by state.

Keep in mind that your state’s health department may not have access to your COVID-19 vaccine status if you were not vaccinated by a state-approved provider. It could also be possible that your vaccine record has not been updated on your state’s registry yet.

Your state may also have an online portal where you can retrieve your vaccine info, like North Carolina’s COVID-19 Vaccine Portal. North Carolinians that got vaccinated by one of the state’s providers and provided an email address can print their vaccine record from the portal.

Got the shot at a pharmacy? That works, too

If you got your vaccination at a pharmacy, you’re in luck. Your pharmacy most likely has a record of your vaccination. At Walgreens, you can take your driver’s license or ID to the pharmacy to get your vaccine record.

And you don’t even need to leave your home if you use CVS. You can get proof of vaccination quickly on its website or the CVS Health app . You can also visit the pharmacy to get a new card. We suggest calling your pharmacy to ask what its protocol is if you’re unsure or see if you can request your information using its website.

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Check with your doctor’s office

Did you get vaccinated at a doctor’s office, clinic or health care facility? If so, they may have a record of your shot. If not, they’ll be able to point you in the right direction.

Your doctor’s office or clinic may use an app, like MyChart, that stores your proof of vaccination. Some physicians put vaccine documents and test results in the app, so it’s easy to grab. But keep in mind that even if your information is available from the app, you may not be able to get a replacement card with the CDC’s seal if your doctor’s office doesn’t offer one. However, you may be able to ask for a printed version of your vaccine record.

Red flag: It’s illegal to falsify your vaccine card

Selling or purchasing a fake vaccine card — or filling in false information — is committing fraud. Even if you’ve had the vaccine, buying a fake card is considered fraud and is punishable by fines and up to five years in jail.

The US Customs and Border Protection agency regularly seizes thousands of fake vaccine cards across the country — a good reminder to retrieve your proof of vaccination the right way.

A digital COVID-19 vaccine card is a good choice

For extra security, you can leave the paper card at home in a safe place and store your vaccination card on your phone or your Apple Watch . Samsung owners can use the CommonHealth app and Google has a way for Android phones to store vaccine info , too.

Some states — including California, Hawaii, New York and Oregon — let you create a digital version of your vaccination card that you can see on your phone. I recently traveled to another state and was able to use my digital vaccine card from my state to enter a restaurant there that required proof to enter. And the list of states that are providing vaccine passport apps is growing.

If you signed up for the CDC’s app, V-Safe, when you first got the shot, there’s some good news: The app stores your vaccine information, so it’s easy to retrieve it if the white card is lost or becomes worn. The CDC gives step-by-step instructions on how to register for V-Safe.

However, you won’t be able to retrieve a new vaccine card this way. The CDC does not keep extra vaccination cards if you lose your original copy.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

What to Do if You’ve Lost Your Covid-19 Vaccination Card

It never quite fit in your wallet, so it’s no surprise you may have misplaced it by now.

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If you put your vaccine card through the washing machine, you’re not alone.

Azi Paybarah

Jan. 26, 2022

More than a year ago, when Covid-19 vaccines became available and jabs started going into arms, it became a point of pride for some people to show off a bandaged shoulder and a white Covid-19 Vaccination Record card.

But as the coronavirus pandemic rolled on, and the bandages came off, some people simply lost track of those awkward 4.25-by-3.5-inch white cards.

And now, you may really need yours.

But what if you lost it?

Many health departments can provide you with your vaccination information. The records themselves aren’t lost.

But if you’re hoping to use that card to prove your vaccination status at work or, say, to travel to one of those countries with a more digital-first approach to record keeping, losing it may make it harder for you to take part in those markers of everyday life like being around other people. Here’s what to do.

Your vaccination records might be on your phone.

You could be lucky enough to live in one of the states that let people access their vaccination records from their smartphones. Those states include Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Utah and Washington.

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  • Canceled Doses: As global demand for Covid-19 vaccines dries up, the program responsible for vaccinating the world’s poor has been negotiating to try to get out of its deals with pharmaceutical companies for shots it no longer needs.
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  • A Reservoir of Old Variants?: New research suggests that the Alpha and Gamma variants of the coronavirus continued to circulate in white-tailed deer, even after they stopped spreading widely among people.

Other states have websites where vaccination information can be requested, usually as a PDF or email. Those states include Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin.

Things get a little more complicated if you’re in one of the states that didn’t go digital, unfortunately.

Could your doctor give you another card?

It depends. Your doctor might have extra C.D.C.-issued white cards. But they should at least have a record of when and where you received your vaccine shot(s) and booster(s). Ask them.

And most states require health care providers who administer vaccine shots to log that information with state health officials. So, state health officials should have that info too.

But no, the C.D.C. will not send you another one.

It wasn’t actually the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that gave you that card bearing its logo. The agency provides them to state health departments, which in turn give them to local vaccination providers. Those local providers give them to people when they get their shots. So, don’t call your friend’s cousin who works there looking for a favor.

I was vaccinated at CVS. Or Walmart. Or Walgreens. Can they replace my card?

  • CVS: A record of the vaccination is available to patients via the CVS Pharmacy app, or on the company’s website, a spokesman said. A pharmacy employee can print a paper record for you, the spokesman said.
  • Walgreens: The company keeps records of all vaccinations administered by its pharmacies, according to a spokeswoman. If patients lose their physical card, they are encouraged to contact their pharmacy for a new one, the spokeswoman said.
  • Walmart: If you were vaccinated at a store or one of its sponsored events, Walmart can verify your information and connect with your state’s immunization registry. Once that is complete, Walmart will reissue a vaccine card to reflect the doses administered at Walmart, a spokeswoman said in a statement. The company can also provide that information digitally, or via a QR code.

This is so complicated.

It is certainly easier in some places than others. Those C.D.C. cards are too big to fit in a wallet, making them unwieldy and, arguably, prone to being displaced. That’s one reason many states took a more digital approach.

In New York, for example, you can access the city Department of Health’s website and obtain vaccination records, a spokesman for the department told me.

Getting records from the city’s site, My Vaccine Record, is pretty fast. I punched in some biographical information and within seconds I got my vaccine history. It was three pages long, so I may not hang the whole thing on my fridge.

Some apps work mainly as digital wallets, a place to store information on your phone until you need to show someone. Others have additional features, such as the ability to schedule Covid tests and receive alerts about potential exposures nearby.

The Excelsior Pass Plus app from New York State can show test results and vaccine records. The free app can be downloaded here.

Outside the United States, many countries have taken a more streamlined approach. In Britain, the National Health Service displays a QR code for fully vaccinated residents. Similarly, members of the European Union issue a digital Covid certificate showing that a person either is vaccinated, has tested negative or has recovered from Covid-19.

Once you get your records, save it!

Many places that require proof of vaccination will accept a picture of your Covid-19 vaccination card. So, once you get it, photograph it. Just make sure it’s in focus.

And if you received a QR code with your vaccination records, you can store it in the digital wallet on your iPhone (with iOS 15). Those are harder to lose!

There are also apps from Clear, Common Pass, Docket, and IBM that can help you keep track of your vaccination record.

Please don’t buy, borrow or make your own vaccination card.

As with driver’s licenses and passports, there are big penalties for misrepresenting your vaccination records. Don’t be that guy. Or that guy. Or that guy. Or these guys.

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Alex Koliada, PhD, is a well-known doctor. He is famous for his studies of ageing, genetics and other medical conditions. He works at the Institute of Food Biotechnology and Genomics NAS of Ukraine. His scientific researches are printed by the most reputable international magazines. Some of his works are: Differences in the gut Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes ratio across age groups in healthy Ukrainian population [BiomedCentral.com]; Mating status affects Drosophila lifespan, metabolism and antioxidant system [Science Direct]; Anise Hyssop Agastache foeniculum Increases Lifespan, Stress Resistance, and Metabolism by Affecting Free Radical Processes in Drosophila [Frontiersin].
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