VIRGINIA — As the omicron variant of COVID-19 continues to drive up cases and the pandemic wears on, vaccines continue to be touted as the number one tool to fight back. And the longer the pandemic goes on, the more widespread vaccine requirements may become at certain businesses and other establishments in Virginia.
People receive a Centers for Disease Control card when they get a vaccine shot. And while digital copies are accepted in some places, the original version — or the equivalent proof of vaccination — is required elsewhere.
For those who lose their card, an official proof of vaccination can be requested online through the Virginia Department of Health.
The COVID-19 Vaccination Record Request Portal allows Virginians to obtain a record of the COVID-19 vaccinations they have received in the state.
"This may be useful if you have misplaced the vaccine card you received at a vaccination clinic; if your first and second doses were written on different cards; or if you would like to give a copy of your record to someone else," the VDH said.
The VDH said its COVID-19 Vaccination Record is based on information recorded in the Virginia Immunization Information System by providers and may not include vaccinations administered outside Virginia or by federal government agencies.
Once you save or print a vaccination record, your copy will not automatically update. If you receive a second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine or a booster, be sure to obtain an updated version of your vaccination record at vaccinate.virginia.gov.
Virginia does not have a state-mandated vaccine requirement.
Across the Potomac in D.C., though, many businesses will be required to check vaccination cards starting Saturday, Jan. 15. The mandate will affect most restaurants, bars, gyms, indoor cultural facilities and meeting rooms in D.C. as COVID-19 cases continue to increase.
When enforcement begins in D.C. on Saturday, patrons will only need to show proof of one shot to enter. By Feb. 15, two shots will be required for entry.
While customers of these sites will have to be vaccinated, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser's order does not include employees. The mayor said she is relying on the federal requirement for employees of businesses of a certain size to be vaccinated.
In D.C., almost all local nightclubs and performing arts venues, ranging from the have been asking for proof of full vaccination since last summer. In Virginia, concert venues in Richmond also have been asking for proof of vaccination since last summer.to Arena Stage to the 9:30 Club,
At the reported Tuesday. "Until the surge ends we are requiring proof of vaccination for indoor dining for guest 12 +," the restaurant said. "Proof in form of physical CDC card, digital photo, or other verification app."
in Alexandria is also requiring proof of vaccination for all indoor dining.
"Proof of vaccination will be required for all indoor dining at Rustico. Additionally, masks are suggested for all guests dining indoors unless actively eating or drinking. Our team members are vaccinated and required to wear masks at all times. We appreciate your support, patronage, and patience as we navigate our way through these difficult days," the restaurant said in a message online.
For more information on COVID-19 vaccinations in Virginia, residents can visit vaccinate.virginia.gov or call 877-VAX-IN-VA.