Those who receive the COVID-19 vaccine will be issued cards as proof

A person opens their wallet, where a mask and possibly a coronavirus vaccine card are being housed
Photo via Jernej Furman/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Millions of people are set to become card-carrying members of the coronavirus vaccine club over the coming months.

The coronavirus vaccine cards are part of Operation Warp Speed, a federal initiative in the U.S. to accelerate the testing and distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine. They will be used to track who got which vaccine and when. Recipients of the coronavirus vaccine will receive a card similar to those used by doctor’s offices to remind patients of upcoming appointments.

The card is not intended to serve as a license to travel or as proof of having been vaccinated for entrance to businesses, restaurants, or bars. They are instead intended to remind patients of their vaccine schedule and to ensure that the necessary second dose is administered on time.

In addition to giving patients a card to remind them of their vaccination history, information will be submitted to state immunization registries so that it can be retrieved in the event the card is lost. Cards of this type are nothing new, though recent years have seen them typically shift to a digital format.

Early images of the cards show that they will display a patient’s first and last name, date of birth, and the date on which they received the first dose of the vaccine. There is also a blank space where the name of the vaccine and its maker can be recorded, a necessary step to ensure that no one receives a second dose of the wrong vaccine.

As part of vaccination kits being developed by the Centers for Disease Control, the cards will accompany needles and syringes delivered to vaccination clinics. States and other entities providing vaccines have also set up their own electronic notification systems, leaning heavily on email, text messages, and phone calls to remind patients when it is time to receive their next shot. 

As of Jan. 2, more than 4 million Americans have been given vaccine shots.

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Sources: CNN, NBC News, NPR

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