As I blogged about the other day, I am ready to start traveling – a little. I do not plan any major travel for many months to come, so more of the planet can be vaccinated and the days of major lock down, curfews, and the like are a distant memory (or at least in the rear view mirror). I also linked to one of my fellow BoardingArea bloggers Andy who visited Iceland and was basically greeted with open arms with his CDC vaccination card.
What this tells me is my tiny little CDC card is going to become a must have moving forward when I travel. My card, like the stock one you see above, will always be with me internationally, on a cruise or any number of other locations like sporting events. Until there is some kind of national digital pass standard, the paper card will be critical. I get this new travel fact.
But what if I lose it?
Do I call the CDC for a replacement? It turns out not. The CDC turns things over to each state and then on to the location that did your inoculation. So here is what that means for you and me.
First up, if you have not yet lost your card, take a photo of it. Better yet, scan your card’s front and back so you have a copy of it if you need it to get a replacement card. If you did not do that or don’t have that you can hopefully remember the date and location where you got your shots and can go back to them to get another one.
Why not just get a back-up when you get your shots you ask?
I like how you think (yes, it is kinda weird I am talking to myself). I did ask that exact question of the location I went to, that is, to get a backup copy of my CDC card just in case and was told that would be no problem at all but that I should just bring in my current one and they will make another for me to have two of them.
Why does this matter? Well, a news story caught my attention that Staples is offering to laminate your CDC card for free (update: OfficeMax / Depot is offering the same). I see some pluses and negatives with this. Yes, it would be much more durable but you could no longer add things like a booster shot down the road (if you / we get one this fall or later on). Now sure they could just copy all the data at that point to a new card and you again go get it laminated. Or, if you already have a backup copy, take that card and then have that card laminated.
Now you may be thinking – will “whoever” you present the card to be freaked out that you have your card laminated? I have no idea. For example, the SSA says you should not laminate your Social Security card, but clearly this CDC card is not at all the same as your SSN card nor does it have any security features at all. Also keep in mind, and I am not telling you to do this mind you, there is no official anything (like an official vaccination number) on the CDC card. It simply has your name, D.O.B., the maker of the vaccine you got as well as the lot number, the date, and who administered it i.e. the place not the person. The backside simply has your reminder date and or time for your second shot.
That’s it, folks!
In other words, if you have made a copy of your original card, I see no reason you could not, on thick paper, print your own new card and fill out the bits and have your own copy of the card if you happen to lose the original. Oh, and one more little interesting tidbit: depending on the “date code” on the back of your CDC card it may be a tiny bit smaller than the older ones (no idea why).
Clearly someone did not think through how very important this CDC card may / has become to those of us who like to travel and see the world (or get on a cruise ship and such). Having a real, verified, national digital app or the like clearly would be a smarter option vs. this current paper one but there you have it! – René
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