Well, it finally happened. You lost your COVID-19 vaccine card.
Maybe you forgot where you put it. Or accidentally threw it out with a pile of junk mail. Your dog ate it.
Whatever. It’s gone.
The good news is that vaccine cards aren’t part of our daily routine in Florida — you know, the “keys, wallet, mask” routine people go through before leaving their house. Businesses and restaurants can’t deny you service.
Some situations require vaccination proof: if your job or private school is mandating COVID shots; if you want to opt out of a testing requirement at certain entertainment venues; or if you want to get a booster or finish the two-dose series of Pfizer and Moderna.
And if you’re planning to leave the Sunshine State, say for travel or business, you’ll likely need proof of your vaccine status. Some cruises require proof of vaccination. So do other countries. And if you’re visiting another U.S. state, the rules vary.
Before you freak out about losing your card, relax. You can get another one — or at least get a copy of your immunization history, which will work as proof.
How to get a copy of COVID vaccination records in Florida
▪ Ask your healthcare provider. All providers administering vaccines, including pharmacies, use or have access to Florida SHOTS, a statewide central system that keeps track of which vaccinations you’ve received. Your provider should be able to access the system and create an immunization history for your records, according to the Florida SHOTS website.
▪ Contact your county health department. All county health departments in Florida have access to the SHOTS system and can create an immunization history from your records.
Here are your South Florida contacts:
Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County — Call 786- 845-0550 to schedule an appointment to pick up your vaccine records from one of the health department’s clinics. Another option is to print and fill out an authorization to disclose form and fax it to the health department at 786-845-0598 with a copy of a valid state ID or passport.
Florida Department of Health in Broward County Call Center — Call 954-412-7300. The call center is open Monday-Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. A copy of your vaccination record will be emailed in PDF format, or you can go pick it up. Speak with a representative to make sure you know where to go.
Florida Department of Health in Monroe County — Email DOHMonroe@flhealth.gov or call 305-293-7500. The phone line is open Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Once the record is ready, you can pick it up at one of the health department offices in Key West, Marathon and Tavernier. Speak with a representative to make sure you know where to go.
▪ If you’re at least 18, you can also submit your request directly to Florida SHOTS. To do this, you’ll have to fill out an online form and electronically sign it. It could take two to three weeks for you to receive your record.
If you need to get the COVID-19 vaccination record of a child under 18, you’ll have to contact your healthcare provider or your county health department.
TIP: Once you have proof of your vaccine status, snap a pic and make a COVID vaccine photo album on your phone to have a copy handy. Apple, Android and Samsung users can also store their info digitally through Apple Wallet, Google Pay and Samsung Pay. There are other apps you can use, too.
Will I be given a CDC COVID vaccine card?
It depends on where you go.
The Florida Department of Health in Broward County, for example, will supply replacement CDC vaccination cards only to those who got vaccinated at Broward health department-run drive-thru or walk-up sites, a spokeswoman said. Everyone else who asks Broward’s health department for their COVID vaccine records will get an emailed PDF of their immunization history.
However, it’s OK if you don’t have a CDC card. A Florida SHOTS printed record (your immunization history) that shows you got the COVID-19 vaccine also counts as proof of vaccination.
Miami Herald staff writer David Goodhue contributed to this report.