When do you need to prove your vaccination status?
Anytime you plan to travel, it’s a good idea to research your destination’s vaccine requirements. While not every city requires proof of vaccination to enter bars, museums, and music venues, it’s likely only a matter of time before they do. After all, as it currently stands, three of the most popular cities in the U.S.—New Orleans, New York, and San Francisco—now require proof of vaccination to partake in just about every public indoor activity (think: restaurants, bars, nightclubs, select grocery stores, gyms, fitness studios, and more). And California requires it (or a negative coronavirus test) for events (think: concerts and sports) with more than 1,000 attendees. All this to say, depending on where you live or where you’re traveling, a proof of vaccine might be required, so before heading out the door, be sure to look up your destination, whether it’s a restaurant, bar, gym, or new city altogether.
In the case of travel, even if the city you’re headed to doesn’t require proof of vaccination, the airline you’re using might. As it currently stands, Qantas is the only airline to require a COVID-19 vaccine to board. That said, President Joe Biden is currently debating an airline vaccine mandate, which the CEO of United Airlines has already spoken in support of.
The best ways to prove your vaccination status
There are a number of ways you can prove your vaccination status. First and foremost, you can carry your official vaccination card (or a copy of it). If you’re not comfortable doing so (given the chance of bending or losing it), a photo of your vaccine card will often suffice. When storing the photo on your phone, however, some experts advise keeping it in a locked or hidden album to protect it from hackers (because we now live in a world where folks are stealing vaccine records).
While those are the two best ways to prove your vaccination status, there are plenty of other ways to prove your vaccination status. Check them out, below.
Other easy ways to prove your vaccination status
This digital vaccine card lets you enter restaurants, stadiums, airports, and more with ease. It’s considered to be one of the more secure vaccine apps, is currently ranked at #14 in travel apps, and has been reviewed over 94,000 times, earning it an laudable 4.7-star rating.
Docket is another digital vaccine app that clearly organizes all of your vaccines in one place. It also helps you track upcoming shots and keep track of renewals. It’s ranked #5 in medical apps.
Third to your original vaccine card and a photo of it is the Immunaband. This silicon band is printed with a QR code that directly links to your vaccine record, so even if your phone dies, you’ll be able to prove your vaccination status.
4. NY Excelsior Pass
For those living in New York, the Excelsior Pass is a must. The Excelsior Pass features a QR code to your vaccine records, as well as negative PCR tests.
Here’s another vaccine passport that will be sent directly to your phone. Only instead of being exclusive to New York, it can be used across the country. That said, it’s still a good idea to check your destination to determine which proof of vaccine they accept.
What to do if you’ve already lost your vaccination card
If you’ve already lost your vaccination card, you’ll obviously need to get a new one before you can sign up for any of the above apps and passes. Luckily, doing so isn’t super difficult but it does have to be done in advance, as most state health departments take anywhere from one to two weeks to send out a copy of your vaccination card. Depending on the state, it will be emailed or mailed by post. Of course, if you got vaccinated at a hospital or pharmacy, the CDC says that you can contact them directly for a new card. It’s those who got vaccinated through a mass event (like at a government center) who need to reach out to their state health department.
Something to keep in mind
Just because you have a digital copy of your vaccine card doesn’t mean you’re 100 percent in the clear. Many international destinations still require a negative PCR test to travel.
That said, be sure to plan your trip in advance to ensure you have everything necessary to make it to your destination with as little hold-up as possible.
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