Every person who gets their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine gets a memento of sorts — a vaccine card. But an official COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card actually serves an important purpose. It helps health officials keep a record of who has received the shot, and it reminds people to get that important second dose.
If you haven’t yet had the vaccine, you might have seen other people’s vaccine cards on social media. It’s natural to want to celebrate and share the news, but it could lead to problems, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) has warned. Specifically, it could lead to an increase in counterfeit cards and identity theft.
The Better Business Bureau serving Central Virginia posted a warning on Twitter on Feb. 3, writing, “The personal info on it makes you a target for ID theft and helps scammers create fake cards.”
Got your COVID-19 vaccine? Great! Avoid sharing a pic of your vaccination card on social media. The personal info on it makes you a target for ID theft and helps scammers create fake cards. https://t.co/RwEiQc3eIh #BBBScamAlert #coronavirus pic.twitter.com/FqcC2TSJ6x
— Better Business Bureau serving Central Virginia (@BBBCentralVA) February 3, 2021
The vaccine card contains personal information, including your full name, birthday, where you got your shot, who gave it to you and the date of the vaccination. That’s all scammers need to create fake cards — something that has been happening in the U.K., where people were caught trying to sell fake vaccine cards on eBay and TikTok. Those scammers are betting that we could need vaccination cards in the future to do all kinds of things, from going to a restaurant to boarding an international flight, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
If you’ve already shared an image of your card on social media, the advice from the BBB is simple — take it down.
More tips for sharing vaccine news in the safest possible way include sharing your vaccine sticker or using a profile frame instead, and reviewing your security settings on all the social media platforms you use, so that only your trusted family and friends can see what you post.
Incidentally, if you lose your vaccine card, you can go to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website and subscribe to VaxText. This provides a text reminder when it’s time to get your second dose of the vaccine.