Understanding Your COVID-19 Vaccine Card

A doctor explains what's included on your COVID-19 vaccine card and why you may want to think twice before posting a photo of it on social media.

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CLEVELAND – Many people are taking to social media to share photos of their COVID-19 vaccine cards, which doctors say can be a good way to help raise awareness – as long as they’re being careful.

“I think there is some merit in actually celebrating that and putting it on somebody’s social media feed. What we worry about is providing more information than you need to, other than you were vaccinated,” said Michelle Medina, MD, Cleveland Clinic.

Dr. Medina said the vaccine card includes all kinds of information, like your full name, date of birth, what kind of vaccine you were given and when.

There’s also a section that lists an expiration date, which could cause confusion for some. That date is for the shelf life of the vaccine and has nothing to do with how long the vaccine lasts in your body. Dr. Medina said it’s very similar to an expiration date you’d see at a grocery store on food.

She said with so much information on one card, it’s important people watch what they’re posting online.

“Your vaccine card contains your full name, it contains your date of birth. There are so many ways that that type of information can be traced back to you, can be traced back to your place of residence, can be traced back to your place of work,” she explained.

Dr. Medina said another option for social media is to post a photo of your arm after you get the vaccine instead. That way you don’t risk accidentally sharing any private information.

As for the card itself, she said be sure to store it in a safe place in case you need it someday. 

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