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The coveted card

I’m including an image of the card, because I think everyone would like to know what these cards look like. I’ve obscured identifying information and information that could be useful to counterfeiters. What the blank card looks like is no secret.

I have hesitated to post very much here about having gotten my Covid-19 shots, because it seems unfair to those who are still waiting. But I came across an article at the Washington Post or the New York Times arguing that it’s probably OK to talk about getting the shots or to post about it in social media, because it may reassure those who are hesitating about being vaccinated.

Once everyone has had a chance to get the vaccines, then the next big cause of disagreement is probably going to have to do with “vaccine passports.” On Feb. 4, the New York Times wrote a piece saying that it’s probably going to happen: Coming Soon: The ‘Vaccine Passport.’ And today the Times has another piece, Vaccine Passports, Covid’s Next Political Flash Point.

If the United States reaches its current goal of being able to vaccinate all adults by the end of May, meaning that all adults have had a fair chance at getting the vaccine, then it seems entirely fair to me, come the end of May, that those who have helped the U.S. achieve herd immunity should gain some privileges. There will be a huge outcry from those who have refused the vaccine for political reasons or because they believe in conspiracy theories. I will not be sympathetic to their complaints.

A mere card is useless. They’d be far too easy to counterfeit. If there is to be a vaccine passport, then there must be an international database that can be checked when traveling internationally.

I was curious about what kind of information is gathered when you go for the vaccinations and who subsequently gets that information. I have no idea if it’s possible to get the shots while refusing to give the information they ask for, and I have no idea whether there are people who would want to do things that way.

After my first shot of the Moderna vaccine, I received email from the health department in my state. So, the state I live in knows. Also on that first visit I was asked to show my health insurance card. I have a Medicare Advantage plan, so it’s safe to assume that my insurance company will get the information. Today, when I went for the second shot, I was asked if I have my Medicare card. I didn’t, so they asked for my Social Security number instead. From that I think it’s safe to assume that the information will go into a national database. No doubt the information in that database will have the same privacy protection as all other medical information, as required in the U.S. by the HIPAA Privacy Rule.

I don’t have a problem with either the state or national government knowing that I got the shots. In fact, I’m glad, because if there are going to be vaccine passports, then I want one. Plus, the government paid for all this. Plus they need all the statistical information they can get, for tracking the epidemic.

For what it’s worth, the only symptom I had after the first Moderna shot was a slightly sore arm for about three days. I understand that flu-like symptoms are more likely after the second shot. A nurse was stationed in the waiting area at the small rural hospital where I got my shots, asking and answering questions after the 15-minute wait was up and giving out a sheet of paper about what to expect and how to handle it. “And drink a lot of water,” she said. So far so good. But I’ll update this post tomorrow.

Update: Twenty-four hours after getting the second shot, I’m feeling a little tired, and my arm is a little sore. But there have been no other side-effects. Getting the two shots was altogether an easy process, quick and efficient. For a county as small as the county I live in, no doubt the logistics are much easier.


  1. David wrote:

    Fatigue was the only thing I experienced after the second Phizer shot. Slept 12 hours in a row. Otherwise, easy peasey. Everyone should go get the shot when they are eligible.

    Thursday, March 11, 2021 at 6:59 pm | Permalink
  2. Henry Sandigo wrote:

    After getting my shots. I checked in with Kaiser. When I checked in with Kaiser they already had my information

    Wednesday, March 17, 2021 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

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