At your first vaccine appointment, you will receive a vaccination card that states which vaccine you received, the date you received it and the location.
Here's why it's important to hold onto your vaccination card, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Take it to your next COVID-19 vaccine appointment
You need to have the card with you to show at your second appointment. It shows proof that you received the first dose, your date of birth and which vaccine you received.
What if I didn't receive a COVID-19 vaccination card?
If you did not receive a COVID-19 vaccination card at your first appointment, contact the vaccination provider site where you got your first shot or your state health department to find out how you can get a card.
What do I do if I lost my vaccination card?
If you cannot contact your vaccination provider directly, contact your state health department’s immunization information system (IIS). You can find state IIS information on the CDC website. Vaccination providers are required to report COVID-19 vaccinations to their IIS and related systems.
If you have made every effort to locate your vaccination information, are unable to get a copy or replacement of your vaccination card, and still need a second shot, talk to a vaccination provider.
Do I need my vaccination card at my second vaccine appointment?
Yes. Bring your vaccination card with you to your second shot appointment so your provider can fill in the information about your second dose.
Why do I need to keep my vaccination card?
Keep your vaccination card in case you need it for future use. Consider taking a picture of your vaccination card after your second shot appointment as a backup copy.
"Those vaccine cards are really important. They provide proof that you were, indeed, vaccinated," said Dr. Kiran Joshi, co-lead of the Cook County Department of Public Health.
Should I get my vaccination card laminated?
Although companies such as Staples and Office Depot are offering to laminate vaccination cards free of charge, you may want to hold off on doing that. There are additional lines at the bottom of the card that may need to be used in the future for booster shots or other purposes. If your card is laminated, it may be difficult to mark your card properly for future use.
"It is possible that in coming months, or coming years, there may be a need for a booster shot, and that booster shot could potentially be reported on that vaccine card. So you may want to hold off on laminating it for now," Dr. Joshi said.
An Illinois Department of Public Health spokeswoman said it comes down to what you feel comfortable with.
"Whether to laminate a card, and whether to carry it with you or keep it at home is a personal preference," she said in a statement.
Where should I keep my vaccination card?
Dr. Joshi believes it's best to stash the card in a safe place, but he recommends you do one thing first.
"Take a photo of it, and email that photo to yourself if you have to. You don't want to lose that. You want to keep it. It may come in handy in the near future," Dr. Joshi said.
Can I post a pic of my vaccination card on social media?
That's not a good idea. Although you may want to share the news you've been vaccinated on social media, experts say you shouldn't. That Instagram post showing off your vaccination card could put your personal information in the hands of scammers. "Posting photos of your card can help provide scammers with information they can use to create and sell phony ones," the Better Business Bureau warned earlier this year.
What can criminals do with your vaccine card?
If someone has your health care information, there are a lot of things they can do with it. Criminals sell the different elements of the health care records individually.