'Take a picture, email it:' Keeping COVID-19 vaccine cards safe

Expanded vaccine eligibility means a lot more Wisconsinites will be getting their shots, and in turn, a COVID-19 vaccination card, but how do you keep that small piece of paper safe and secure? 

Health officials say it should be thought of like any other important document. Still, the staff at Infinity Pharmacy in Milwaukee said they've seen cards in such bad shape, they've put a new measure in place to protect them. 

Pharmacist and owner Marwa Bakr has been busy getting shots into the arms of eager patients, but with each dose comes a parting 'gift' -- and a record of which vaccine you've received. 

"I noticed that when people come for their second dose, their cards are ruined!" said Bakr.

Administering vaccines since mid-January, Bakr has seen it all, saying patients sometimes return with crumpled and torn cards. That's why each person who gets vaccinated at the pharmacy will now leave with a plastic sleeve protector for their card.

"It’s the same size as the vaccine card so they can put the card, keep it safe and nice," said Bakr.

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Once fully vaccinated, Bakr suggests keeping the original copy in a safe place at home, then carrying a photocopy or digital copy on the go. 

"Take a picture. Email it to yourself. Save it in your phone," said Bakr.

Bakr said lamination is another option but first, double-check that your personal information listed is accurate. Additionally, if you're getting the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, ensure that you've completed both doses before sealing the card's fate.

At DigiCOPY's Milwaukee locations -- near Van Buren Street and Brady Street (1681 N. Van Buren Street), and at its Third Ward location (222 E. Erie Street) -- the service is being offered for FREE through July 31, 2021.

"Just come in with your card and we'll laminate it for you while you wait in the store," said Hal Crossno, DigiCOPY second shift production manager.

After just a few minutes, you won't be the only one protected. Your card will be, too.

Wisconsin Immunization Registry

If you lose your card, simply contact the provider that administered your shot. Since they also keep a record, they should be able to replace it.

You can also track your immunization history online through Wisconsin's Immunization Registry.

For additional vaccination card guidance from the CDC, CLICK HERE

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