ALABAMA, USA — Now that over 1.1 million people in Alabama are fully vaccinated for COVID-19, immunization cards have become a prized possession, but is there a real need to hang on to them?
Whether you've gotten one shot or two, if you have been vaccinated for COVID-19, you were given an immunization card.
If you're scheduled for a 2-dose vaccine, you will need to keep your card and bring it back for your second appointment. If you are fully vaccinated, experts say it's a good idea to keep it safe.
Alabama Department of Public Health Assistant State Health Officer Dr. Karen Landers said, "I tell people right now keep your card as though it were your credit card or your drivers license or another important document."
COVID-19 vaccine providers do keep an electronic record of your vaccinations, but it can still be beneficial to keep your card. Dr. Landers says if your cell phone is secure, you can even snap a picture of it.
"If a person goes to another state, perhaps they are ill, they go to a hospital for another reason, they go to an emergency room for another reason and they're asked about a COVID vaccine, they may not remember what day they got it, what dose they got, what particular product they received," said Dr. Landers.
Many people are opting to laminate the paper cards.
Dr. Landers said, "I really don't see a reason not to laminate your card if you don't want it to get I guess you could say water-spotted or soiled or something like that."
Some people are deciding against laminating their immunization card in the case of potentially needing a booster shot in the future.
"There's a little space on there, and certainly boosters could be added to that card," said Dr. Landers. "Perhaps people may be asked to bring their cards in for a booster and again for documentation of what their immunizations are, what their record shows, but we are also going to have that in our electronic registry."
There are no rules of what you can or cannot do with your immunization card, but holding on to it can prove to be useful.
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