All adults in the United States are now eligible for COVID-19 vaccines. With vaccine distribution reaching the general public, a growing proportion of the workforce is now vaccinated. In turn, many of these vaccinated employees have also received COVID-19 vaccine cards.
This HR Insights is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as professional advice.
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It’s worthwhile for employers to understand what COVID-19 vaccine cards are and what uses they may have in the workplace. This article provides an overview of COVID-19 vaccine cards and considerations for supporting employees that have COVID-19 vaccine cards.
Overview of Vaccine Cards
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, the vaccinated individual should be given a vaccine card. A vaccine card lists which vaccine was given, how many doses, the date(s) received and where it was administered. If receiving a two-dose vaccine, the individual would receive a card after their first dose and then have it updated upon receiving their second dose.
Notably, as part of return-to-work plans, some workplace vaccination policies may ask employees to verify their vaccination status. Commonly, vaccine cards are used for verification.
Helping Employees Keep Their Cards Safe
As vaccine cards may potentially be needed both in the workplace and for activities outside of work, it’s important that vaccinated employees keep their vaccine cards safe. Employers can consider proactive steps to help ensure employees aren’t left without copies of their vaccine cards.
These steps include:
- Encouraging employees to keep their cards in a safe place
- Encouraging employees to take a photo of the card
- Providing protective sleeves for employees’ vaccination cards
Helping Employees Who Didn’t Receive a Card or Lost It
While employers should refrain from directly aiding a vaccinated employee who lost their vaccine card or never received one, they may be able to educate employees about steps they can take to attain a new card. Fortunately, there are various steps available to them.
According to the CDC, if an individual lost or never received their COVID-19 vaccine card, the first action they should take is to contact their vaccination provider site directly to find out how they can get a card.
If unable to contact their vaccination provider directly, other options include:
- Contacting their state health department’s immunization information system (IIS). They can find state IIS information on the CDC’s website. Vaccination providers are required to report COVID-19 vaccinations to their IIS and related systems.
- If enrolled in v-safe or VaxText after their first vaccine dose, they can access their vaccination information using those tools.
If an individual has made every effort to locate their vaccination card is still unable to get a copy or replacement, they should contact a vaccination provider for more information.
COVID-19 vaccine cards could factor into some organizations’ return-to-work plans. While the needs of employees and return-to-work plans will vary by workplace, employers can consider steps to support employees with vaccine cards.
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