CDC is no longer distributing COVID-19 vaccination cards, once a staple of the pandemic

ByAmanda Musa, CNNWire
Wednesday, October 4, 2023
CDC is no longer distributing COVID-19 vaccination cards
CDC is no longer distributing COVID-19 vaccination cards

Do you know where your Covid-19 vaccine card is? If not, you may want to track it down, because getting a new one could be tricky.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is no longer distributing the white cards that were given out with Covid-19 vaccines earlier in the pandemic, according to the agency's website.

The CDC notes that it does not keep vaccination records and says recipients should contact their state health department's immunization information system (IIS) if they want to keep track of their Covid-19 shots.

"Your state's IIS cannot issue you a vaccination card, but they can provide a digital or paper copy of your full vaccination record, including your COVID-19 vaccinations," the agency says.

The CDC recommends keeping a copy of your vaccination record for your primary care provider to help make future medical decisions. And if you take your vaccination record to your doctor's office, they might be able to give you a new card.

But major pharmacy chains say you don't need your old card to get the newly updated vaccine.

"A vaccination card is not required for vaccination, but our pharmacists will complete them if patients bring them in," CVS said in a statement Tuesday.

People who received an immunization at CVS Pharmacy or a Minute Clinic can access their vaccination records on the CVS Health Dashboard, the company says.

If you have your card, Walgreens suggests bringing it to your next vaccine appointment.

"We recommend individuals bring their dose card or vaccination details to the appointment so immunizers can update with booster details, but it is not required. Walgreens will ask people to verify their age and vaccination status," the company said in a statement Tuesday.

Walmart said in a statement that "If patients receiving the vaccine request that the dose is added to the vaccine card the patient already has, our pharmacists are happy to do so."

Rite Aid also says it will no longer be requiring vaccine cards.

Covid-19 vaccination cards debuted in late 2020 as a simple way for the government and vaccine recipients to keep track of doses delivered and could be used to prove vaccination status for things like large events and international travel.

The federal government no longer requires people to show their vaccine card when coming in from outside the country, according to Tori Emerson Barnes, executive vice president for public affairs and policy at the U.S. Travel Association, a nonprofit representing the travel industry

Most countries have also stopped requiring proof of vaccination to enter, but you should still check with your destination before leaving the US, the CDC says.

CNN's Megan Marples contributed to this report.