Photo: Mufid Majnun

By Katherine Tam

By now, the CDC Covid-19 Vaccination Record Card has become commonplace throughout the United States and here in New York City. 

That card is given to you at your first Covid-19 vaccine appointment in the U.S. You need to show that card in order to get your subsequent vaccine doses. If you live in New York State, you also need to show that card to get your state-issued Excelsior Pass and more recently the Excelsior Pass Plus

Due to the vaccine mandates, you now also need to show that card to enter certain businesses or venues, attend in-person classes and activities at NYC public schools and the city’s largest colleges and universities, travel internationally, and even to apply for work or to keep your job. 

However, we have been receiving questions from our neighbors who’ve lost their cards and would like to know how they can get replacement cards or at least get their Covid-19 vaccination records:

  • If the vaccine site where you received your Covid-19 vaccine doses still exists, we recommend that you first try contacting that vaccine site to see if they have your Covid-19 vaccine doses recorded in their records and therefore could give you a replacement card. 
  • If that vaccine site no longer exists, see if you can contact the organization that managed that vaccine site. (Such as: a local hospital that ran pop-up vaccine events.) If that organization is unable or unwilling to give you your vaccination records and their vaccine site or event was in New York City, that organization was still required by law to report your vaccination to NYC’s Citywide Immunization Registry, also known as the CIR. Therefore, if you received your Covid-19 vaccine doses in NYC and you need help getting your vaccination records, please call the CIR at (347) 396-2400 or email the CIR at cir@health.nyc.gov. A CIR representative will contact you in about a week. 
  • If you received your Covid-19 vaccine doses elsewhere in New York State, or in New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania or another U.S. state or territory, please see this CDC list of state and territorial immunization registries to contact to obtain your vaccination records. 
  • The CDC also says that if you had enrolled in either the v-safe online vaccination checker or the VaxText text messaging service after you received your first Covid-19 vaccine dose, you can use either of those tools to access your vaccination records. Please note that the CDC says the VaxText service will end on Dec. 31.  
  • Furthermore, if you received your previous Covid-19 vaccine doses in another country and are about to receive your next dose in the U.S., please bring your foreign vaccination record with you to your vaccine appointment. (Please note that if you’re not a U.S. citizen or national, and if you don’t have a Green Card or a U.S. immigrant visa, and you’re thinking of traveling to the U.S. by air, land or ferry, you now need to be fully vaccinated to enter the U.S. and you need to be vaccinated with a Covid-19 vaccine that the World Health Organization has listed for emergency use. As of Dec. 6, you also need to show a negative Covid-19 test taken no more than one day earlier before traveling by air to the U.S.) If you would like your foreign Covid-19 vaccine doses added to your vaccination record here in the U.S., the CDC advises that you contact your state or territory’s immunization registry or talk to your U.S.-based doctor or healthcare provider to discuss your options. Above all, the CDC recommends that you keep your foreign vaccination record as part of showing full proof of your Covid-19 vaccination status, along with showing your new CDC card with your U.S. Covid-19 vaccine doses. If the Covid-19 vaccine that you previously received overseas is a vaccine that the World Health Organization has listed for emergency use but it’s not Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson, please speak with your doctor or healthcare professional to discuss your U.S. vaccine options. If needed, our team here at Epicenter-NYC can refer you to a doctor friend of ours for a consultation. 

Finally, if you’ve also been having difficulty trying to get a replacement card or trying to get a NYC-based vaccine provider to recognize your foreign vaccination record, contact us.

Writer and Producer. Proud Canadian and American. Looking forward to seeing what the future brings.

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