The days of needing to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 in public spaces may largely be in the rearview mirror. But some places do still require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test.
What should you do if you legally changed your name since receiving your vaccination card?
We asked state and local health officials for guidance.
Can I update my COVID-19 vaccination card with my new name?
No. You can’t alter your own records, according to officials who recommend contacting your health care provider or local health department to make changes.
OK. Where should I begin?
Sign up for the state’s immunization portal dubbed Vax Verify if you haven’t already. Even if you’ve already legally changed your name, officials advise signing up with the name you used at the time you received the jab.
Already signed up for Vax Verify? Contact your health care provider to update your record in the Illinois Automated Immunization Registry Exchange, or I-CARE immunization registry, with your new name.
I’m unable to sign up for Vax Verify. What should I do?
Vax Verify uses the credit reporting company Experian as its identity verification provider. If you’re unable to pass the Experian identification check, you won’t be able to use Vax Verify. But you can still request a record of your COVID-19 vaccination from the Illinois Department of Public Health using this form.
How do I update my vaccination card with my new name?
State health officials advise you contact your health care provider who would collect the documentation of the name change and report it to the state immunization registry.
Chicago residents who received their shots at a now-closed site such as a mass vaccination facility can email the Chicago Department of Public Health to have the name change processed. Not a Chicago resident? Officials advise contacting your local health department.
Can I request an updated vaccination card to reflect my name change?
Officials advise downloading digital proof of vaccination via Vax Verify, or contacting your provider or local public health department to reissue a CDC vaccination card.
I lost my vaccination card. Can I get a replacement?
Rather than carry around a physical card, officials recommend having a digital proof of vaccination handy, such as the SMART Health Card provided via Vax Verify. (You can even download the SMART Health Card to your smartphone wallet, according to officials.)
For those who can’t utilize Vax Verify, check to see if your local provider or pharmacy is among the hundreds that have signed up to issue SMART Health Cards. (Pro tip: Don’t click on the Illinois link under public health issuers. That’ll just bring you back to Vax Verify. Keep scrolling to pharmacies and test providers or all issuers.)
Still want a physical copy? Request a copy of your records from the provider who gave you the jab. Thinking of going straight to the source issuing the cards? Don’t. The CDC does not maintain vaccination records or issue vaccination cards to individuals, according to its website.
For more information about Vax Verify, visit the Illinois Department of Public Health website.