The COVID-19 vaccination cards, once a crucial document during the pandemic, are now being phased out as the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines is shifting away from the federal government’s control.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stopped printing new vaccination cards.
Since late 2020, when the first COVID-19 vaccines were introduced, the federal government has distributed over 980 million vaccination cards, according to the latest data from the CDC.
However, with the waning need for these cards as requirements for entry into various establishments have relaxed, discontinuing their production is expected to have a minor impact.
Individuals who possess a valid vaccination card can still use it as proof of vaccination.
However, those requiring their COVID-19 immunization records must request them through standard channels.
Many clinics, pharmacies, and health departments administering the vaccine can provide these records.
Additionally, each state and some cities maintain immunization registries, although the rules for including forms and obtaining copies vary.
States like Texas require written consent from patients to include their records in the registry.
At the same time, other places like Wyoming and Philadelphia maintain city-specific record systems that mandate vaccine providers to log all vaccinations.
Some states offer digital vaccination records accessible online or through apps, allowing users to save certificates or QR codes as proof of immunization.
These digital systems often include alerts for upcoming vaccine doses.
Flexibility and autonomy in managing patient records, particularly immunization records, were some of the positive outcomes during the pandemic, noted Jeff Chorath, who oversees the immunization information system in Washington State.
Digital Vaccine Record Variability Amid Phased-Out COVID-19 Cards in the US
Washington offers two digital options for obtaining vaccination records: one comprehensive and another specific to COVID-19 vaccines.
However, not all states provide these digital options, and retrieving records may take longer in some cases.
Gaps in state databases can occur, particularly for individuals vaccinated by federal health providers, whose records may be maintained in separate systems.
Regarding the original vaccination cards, individuals who still possess them are advised to keep them safe, as they serve as valuable health records.
According to Heidi Gurov, a nurse consultant at the Wyoming Department of Health, the cards should be retained as one would support any other essential health document.
While the production of new vaccination cards has ceased, the ongoing vaccination efforts continue.
As of the latest report, four million people in the US have received the latest COVID-19 vaccine since its approval last month, with 10 million doses shipped to providers, as stated by CDC director Dr. Mandy Cohen.
Source: ABC News