The First Thing You Need to Do After You're Fully Vaccinated, Experts Say

Keeping track of this could help you in the coming months or when you need a booster.

As more states open up eligibility for those who can get their COVID-19 vaccines, there's a good chance that you may be getting your doses soon if you haven't already. And while there are still plenty of things you shouldn't do once you've received your jabs, experts say there's one thing that you should do pretty much right away. Namely, you should be taking a photo of your vaccination card and then storing it in a safe place as soon as you're fully vaccinated, ABC News reports. Read on to see why you should keep track of this document, and for more on what you should be doing right before you get your shots, check out Doctors Say Do These 2 Things the Morning of Your Vaccine Appointment.

Take a photo of your vaccination card for safekeeping.

A COVID-19 vaccination record card with a vile of vaccine and a syringe.
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The small index cards you receive when getting your vaccine shots serve as a great way to remember exactly when you should get any required second doses. But experts say that they also contain the kind of medical information that can come in handy as certain activities begin to reopen to fully vaccinated people or booster shots become necessary.

"It's important for people to have a record of which vaccine they received and when they got their shots," Krutika Kuppalli, MD, vice-chair of the Infectious Diseases Society of America's global health committee and an expert in biosecurity at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, told ABC News. "It's your proof that you got your vaccine."

Having proof of vaccination may make your life easier in the coming months.

Vaccine record
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As recently updated Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines have shown, being fully vaccinated can open up easier access to getting back to normal life. To be safe, John Brownstein, PhD, an epidemiologist at Boston Children's Hospital, tells ABC News that on top of keeping a photo of your card on hand, you should then store it safely along with your other important documents such as passports, birth certificates, and social security cards.

"What these little cards have the potential to do is to make something like international travel easier by avoiding requirements for quarantine or testing," Amesh Adalja, MD, an infectious disease specialist and senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security, told ABC News. However, she clarified that exactly how a "vaccine passport" would work is still being discussed and that "nothing has been put into place yet." And for more on when you may need that booster shot, check out The Pfizer CEO Says This Is How Often You'll Need a COVID Vaccine.

You can still get a replacement if you accidentally misplace your card.

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But don't fret too much if your coveted vaccine card has already been misplaced. Adalja says "you should go back to where you got vaccinated" to get the information and a replacement card. If that doesn't work, your next best option is to call your state's health department, which should also have your vaccination information on record in an immunization database.

You should keep the photo of your vaccine card to yourself.

close up of person holding covid vaccination card
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Even though finally getting your doses is a big life moment, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) warns that one thing you don't want to do with that photo of your vaccination card is post it on social media. The agency warns that scammers might be able to use the personal information on it to steal your identity.

Instead of putting sensitive details out there, the BBB suggests posting a picture of your vaccine sticker or use a social media frame on your profile photo to let the world know you're immunized. And for more on things you should avoid doing once you've gotten your shots, check out Don't Do This Until a Month After Your COVID Vaccine, Experts Warn.

Best Life is constantly monitoring the latest news as it relates to COVID-19 in order to keep you healthy, safe, and informed. Here are the answers to your most burning questions, the ways you can stay safe and healthy, the facts you need to know, the risks you should avoid, the myths you need to ignore,and the symptoms to be aware of. Click here for all of our COVID-19 coverage, and sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.
Zachary Mack
Zachary covers beer, wine, food, spirits, and travel. He's the owner of Alphabet City Beer Co. in New York City and is a Certified Cicerone. Read more
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