August 11, 2021
With Philadelphia instituting a new mask mandate in an attempt to quell another coronavirus surge, you're also going to need to have your vaccination card handy more often.
Starting at midnight Thursday, you'll be required to wear a mask while inside city businesses, regardless of your vaccination status. The mandate will not apply, however, to businesses that make customers prove they've been vaccinated before entering.
"We're asking businesses that do have a vaccination requirement to have a reasonable system for enforcing that," Dr. Cheryl Bettigole, Philadelphia's acting health commissioner, said Wednesday. "To me, if they're requiring a picture of somebody's vaccine card, that seems like a reasonable system. They could just check the card itself, as well."
But what if you've lost your vaccination card? What if it's been damaged? They are made of paper, after all, and health officials say laminating them is a no-go because the same card could need to be updated should health officials recommend people start getting booster shots.
There are ways to replace vaccination cards, but determining which one is right for you depends on where you got your shots. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends obtaining duplicate vaccination cards through the provider who administered the shots. If that was a pharmacy chain or health clinic, try contacting that facility.
And there are other local options. Below is more info about how to access your vaccination records and obtain new cards in Philadelphia, elsewhere in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Philadelphia and the rest of Pennsylvania have operated independently from one another. The city and state had separate timelines for easing COVID-19 restrictions; each collects its own data on coronavirus infections and vaccination rates; and now they have their own procedures to obtain replacement vaccination cards.
Philadelphia residents who need new cards can contact Philly's COVID Call Center at (215) 685-5488 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Our staff will walk you through the process of verifying your address and figure out the best and quickest way to get your records to you," Bettigole said Wednesday.
The COVID Call Center also should be able to correct misspellings on your vaccination card or swap out names if yours has changed since getting the shots.
If you were vaccinated anywhere in Pennsylvania outside Philadelphia, contact the Pennsylvania Statewide Immunization Information System by calling (877) 774-4748 or by emailing email@example.com.
You will then be sent a form to fill out before receiving your COVID-19 vaccination record through whichever method you prefer – via the U.S. mail or email.
In July, the New Jersey Department of Health signed on to use an app called Docket that allows residents to access their individual COVID-19 vaccination records from the New Jersey Immunization Information System.
New Jersey officials say if you lose your vaccination card or find yourself in a situation where you need it but aren't carrying it, Docket is an on-demand option to provide proof you have received your coronavirus shots.
Another option, if you would prefer to have the hardcopy of your vaccination card in your possession, is to contact the New Jersey Immunization Information System. That can be done by calling (609) 826-4860 or via the NJIIS website's request immunization record page.
That page links to this online form. Complete it, along with uploading a photo of your ID, and the state will email you a copy of your immunization record. If you prefer to make your request by mail, print and complete this form, along with a copy of your identifications to the address on the form.