As some states, employers, schools and business start requiring COVID-19 vaccination proof, having a backup plan in case you lose or misplace your vaccine card is important.
The push for vaccinations continues as Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data shows the delta variant accounts for more than 90% of new coronavirus infections across the U.S. and some states are seeing hospitalization surges far beyond pandemic peaks.
For the 70% of Americans carrying a COVID-19 vaccine card and others thinking about getting the shot, here are some tips to ensure you have proof of vaccination – even if that little piece of paper goes missing.
I can't find my COVID-19 vaccine card. What can I do?
After receiving your first dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, you should receive a CDC vaccination card that tells you what COVID-19 vaccine you received, the date you received it and where you received it.
How to store your COVID-19 vaccine info: Here's how to store your COVID-19 vaccination card on your smartphone
If you didn't receive the vaccine card or lost it, your first step is to contact your vaccination provider, such as Rite Aid, CVS or a local government office. If you can't contact your provider, you can reach out to contact your state health department’s immunization information system. All vaccination providers must report COVID-19 vaccinations to their IIS.
State health departments will either email or mail a copy of your vaccination card, although it may take one to two weeks.
If you call the CDC directly, it will not have individual information about COVID-19 vaccinations.
Is vaccination proof legal?: Yes, and businesses can require proof
How can I store my COVID-19 vaccine information in case I lose it?
The easiest method is to take a picture but not a selfie. If you upload a selfie with your vaccination card online, you could expose personal information that's written on the card. Instead, on an iPhone, snap a picture of your card, go to the Share button on Photos, then select Hide. This will conceal your image in the Hidden album, which can be found by tapping Albums, then scrolling to Utilities.
For Google Pixel or Samsung Galaxy smartphone users, there's an option to create a locked folder where you can store the picture of your COVID-19 vaccine card.
Depending on which state you live in, you can use newly designed apps to store your card information. Quick access is available for New Jersey and New York residents through the Docket and Excelsior app.
If you have an account with Walmart or Sam's Club, you can take advantage of their offer to provide access to digital COVID-19 records. A COVID-19 vaccine digital passport can be added to Google Pay or Apple Wallet via VaxYes.
If you'd like to keep your vaccine card long-lasting, Staples customers can use the coupon code 81450 to get their vaccine card laminated. Staples hasn't announced an expiration date on this offer yet.
However, you may want to think twice before laminating your vaccine card, in the case you need to document a booster COVID-19 vaccine dose. If you laminate your card, you can ask for another at your vaccination provider, AARP reports.
Follow Gabriela Miranda on Twitter: @itsgabbymiranda
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Lost your COVID vaccine card? CVS and health departments have backups