Lost your vaccine card and your digital record is wrong? Here's how to stay up to date

Denise Dador Image
Tuesday, November 29, 2022
Lost your vaccine card and your digital record is wrong? Don't worry
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Many Californians have received three or four COVID boosters, but it can be hard to keep track - especially if you've misplaced or lost your vaccine card or your digital record is not up-to-date or difficult to retrieve.

Many Californians have received three or four COVID boosters, but it can be hard to keep track - especially if you've misplaced or lost your vaccine card or your digital record is not up-to-date or difficult to retrieve.

It can be frustrating if you can't find your card and you can't retrieve the correct information, but pharmacists say this won't prevent you from getting your next shot.

At Aviva Pharmacy in Long Beach, it's not uncommon for clients to lose track of how many COVID shots they've had.

"Either (they have lost) the physical record or the digital record is not uploaded," said Managing Director Amy Nguyen, PharmD.

She said even when your vaccine provider uploads everything correctly, it can get lost in the retrieval process.

"There are sometimes similarities in the name or date of birth, or the phone number has changed," she added.

Nguyen says be consistent and use your cell number to retrieve your records. If you're not tech savvy, your pharmacy can give you a new card with your most recent shot. Having an updated digital record helps pharmacists, but you may also need it to travel abroad.

"The virus keeps mutating and some strict countries do not allow them in if they haven't gotten the most current one," Nguyen said.

In a statement, the California Department of Public Health said, "If an individual is unable to access their vaccination card or online record, or if they find their online record is incorrect, they may consider contacting their primary care provider to correct or update the immunization record."

Nguyen says check the state's Immunization registry a few days after your shot to make sure it's there. California also has a call center as well as a virtual assistant to answer your questions.

"For the most part that information can be retrieved," said Nguyen.

The CDC says anyone 5 and older who's had the original primary series can get the bivalent booster two months after their last dose. Nguyen said get your shot even if you can't find your card - and it's usually easier to cut through red tape at smaller community pharmacies.

"It is most efficient if we follow the CDC guidelines. But, if we missed it by giving the bivalent based on poor recollection, the patient won't be harmed in any way."

California health officials say if a resident received their COVID-19 vaccination out of state, they could request to add those doses to their record through their primary care provider or the Virtual Assistant. Updates may take up to five days to appear.