Why You Shouldn’t Share Photos of Your COVID-19 Vaccine Card

If you've already done this, you might want to take it down!

Now that COVID-19 vaccines are available and being administered, it certainly feels like something to celebrate. At long last, it represents the light at the end of the tunnel for achieving immunity against this virus. Because of that, people are sharing post-vaccination pictures to social media with the same fervent thrill as they might an “I Voted” sticker. (Indeed, some vaccination centers are, in fact, giving out stickers!) Here’s why one woman is getting the COVID vaccine as soon as she can.

And there’s nothing wrong with sharing the welcome news that you’ve been vaccinated. But there’s a troubling trend of people specifically posting images of their vaccine cards. The Better Business Bureau is warning people not to do this—it could put your personal information at risk.

They may be small, but those cards contain a lot of your info. From a single shot of the card, anyone who sees that picture now has your name, date of birth, and where and when you got vaccinated. Unfortunately, there have been actual instances of scammers using those details to create fake vaccination cards. In the United Kingdom, people were caught using eBay and TikTok to sell fake cards. And in a time when our collective health and safety relies on as many people as possible really getting the vaccine, the last thing we want is people falsifying evidence that they’ve been vaccinated. Find out how to tell if a contact tracer is a scammer, as well.

And this is just one way scammers can use these cards to engage in shady shenanigans. In addition to creating fake vaccine cards, they can also target you personally. Once they have your name and birth date—readily available on your card—all they’d need is your social security number and address to open a fake credit card in your name. As much as you might want to celebrate your newly vaccinated status, you certainly don’t want to become the target of a scammer or enable falsified vaccine cards.

If you’ve already posted a picture of your card, the BBB says, you should take it down as soon as possible. And if you’re still waiting to receive the vaccine, resist the temptation to snap and share a photo of your card. You can share the welcome news without sharing your personal info! Next, find out how to get the COVID-19 vaccine at Walmart.

Sources:

  • Lifehacker: “Don’t Share Your Vaccine Card on Social Media”
  • Better Business Bureau: “BBB Tip: Don’t share your COVID-19 vaccine card on social media”

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Meghan Jones
Meghan Jones is a Staff Writer for RD.com who has been writing since before she could write. She graduated from Marist College with a Bachelor of Arts in English and has been writing for Reader's Digest since 2017. In spring 2017, her creative nonfiction piece "Anticipation" was published in Angles literary magazine.