WASHINGTON — All but one of the COVID-19 vaccines in the final stage of trials will require more than one dose, according to the CDC. That means if you're getting vaccinated, you'll more than likely need to return for a second shot.
While states and local governments work to finalize their vaccine education and distribution plans, federal agencies have decided to include an easy way to remind Americans when they need their next dose: a vaccination card.
A photo of the card spread quickly online accompanied by questions and claims surrounding what it will be used for. There appears to be a general worry that this card could be used to prevent Americans from accessing essential businesses.
So let's Verify:
What is the "vaccination card" used for? Will it be used as proof of vaccination?
The card will be filled out by a person who administers your vaccination. It is to remind you to get your next dose on time, and it is completely optional and voluntary.
A photo of the official vaccination card was released by the Department of Defense in early December. In a December 2nd press conference, Army General Gustave Perna, Chief Operating Officer for Operation Warp Speed was asked what role the federal government plays in reminding people to get their second doses.
"What we have done is we've set up everything from a draconian process, where when we sent out the ancillary kits, which have needles and syringes, we've included paper cards to be filled out and given to the individuals reminding them of their next vaccine due date, accordingly," Perna explained.
U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar says he doesn't envision any type of national vaccination ID.
"What we have, though, are cards that are almost like the reminder cards. Like when you go to the dentist and you get a card saying, 'here's your appointment six months from now,'" Azar told Verify investigative reporter Gabe Cohen in an exclusive interview. "Cards that will help people remember, 'I got the Pfizer vaccine, and in X number of days, I need to come back to get my booster shot.' Those are really self reminders for them."
In addition to this answer from Secretary Azar, a separate spokesperson for Health and Human Services told us the use of this vaccination card if "completely optional and voluntary."
So we can Verify that this card is not official proof of vaccination and will not be used to restrict services or business to unvaccinated people. It is an optional way for people to remember when to get the next dose of their coronavirus vaccine.