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Lost your COVID-19 vaccination card in Oakland? Here’s what to do

Photo by Justinite via Pixabay

Have you lost your COVID-19 vaccine card? You are not alone! Given the somewhat fragile nature of the small paper cards, many have misplaced or damaged them. According to the Mayo Clinic, 68.9% of Californians are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Upon vaccination, each person receives a small paper card issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) detailing when and where they were vaccinated. For many Americans, this card has become an important part of everyday life. In Oakland, proof of vaccination is now required to enter entertainment venues, gyms and other fitness centers, any place where food or drink is served, and more. Mills currently requires proof of a booster shot in addition to the initial vaccine dose(s) to live and attend class on campus. In some circumstances, those with documented medical conditions which prevent them from getting the vaccine may be exempt from these mandates. For most people, though, the mandates stand, so having proof of vaccination is crucial.

If you have lost your card, there is no need to panic! Your vaccine record can be recovered. The first step is to visit California’s Digital COVID-19 Vaccine Record website and check for your record there. The state of California has formed a statewide registry of COVID-19 vaccination records, allowing users to type in their name and birthdate to get a Digital COVID-19 Vaccine Record (DCVR). A DCVR will be delivered via text or email in the form of an official scannable quick response (QR) code containing your vaccine history. This QR code can be downloaded to your phone and used in place of a paper card. Note that only those who were vaccinated in California will appear on this registry.

Though many records exist on the Digital COVID-19 Vaccine Record, you may still not find yours, even if you were vaccinated in-state. In this case, you can contact the location where you got your vaccine directly or consult with the California Department of Public Health’s Virtual Assistant. If you contact your vaccine provider directly, they should be able to provide you with either a digital or physical replacement for your card. Have hope! Your record exists somewhere, and though it may take some trial and error, you will be able to find it.

Once you have located your record, consider taking precautions to preserve it. If you receive a QR code, follow these instructions to permanently download the QR code to your phone. If you are issued a paper card, take a photo of it. Make sure not to laminate a physical card — that way, proof of future booster shots can be written on it.

As anxiety-inducing as losing a COVID-19 vaccination card may be, there are many avenues of help available. With a little (or a lot) of patience, you can soon be right back to your spiffy, card-carrying self.