Philadelphia's new mandate has people searching for their vaccine cards

Neither Philadelphia nor the state of Pennsylvania are considering a vaccine record app.

Annie McCormick Image
Tuesday, December 14, 2021
Philly's new mandate has people searching for their vaccine cards
Philadelphia's mandate requiring all patrons of indoor dining established be vaccinated against COVID-19 has people searching for their cards.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Philadelphia's upcoming mandate requiring all patrons of indoor dining established be vaccinated against COVID-19 has people searching for their vaccine cards - or wondering how to get replacements for lost or damaged cards.

The mandate goes into effect on January 3.

When New York announced its version of a mandate, the New York State Excelsior Pass launched. It links people's identification with their vaccine card information and acts as a fast pass for residents and visitors.

But the City of Philadelphia and the State of Pennsylvania are not considering an app like that for now.

"We know that some partners and businesses in Philadelphia are looking into companies and services that they could use to facilitate confirming vaccine status, but we are not engaging in that. The Health Department is researching ways to allow vaccine records to be easily uploaded into existing services, but there is no timeline or confirmation that this will be feasible," Philadelphia Health Department spokesperson James Garrow said.

"At this time, we are not considering app development to show proof of vaccination," the Pennsylvania Department of Health said in a statement.

The department "encourages residents to keep their vaccination records in a safe place as they would other important health information. We also encourage people to make a digital copy or take a picture, so they have a copy."

If you received a vaccine at a pharmacy or other health center, contact them directly.

If that's not an option, and you were vaccinated in Philadelphia, you can order a replacement card by calling the city's COVID-19 Call Center at 215-685-5488 or email

If you were vaccinated in a Pennsylvania county other than Philadelphia, you can request your vaccination records at the Department of Health website.

Officials say this will not be a replacement card, but a copy of your immunizations records.

RELATED: Philadelphia rolls out COVID-19 vaccination requirements for indoor dining establishments

This comes as infection rates in Philadelphia have doubled in the last few weeks and hospitalizations have increased by about 50%.

Camden County Commissioner Director Louis Cappelli said they are receiving requests for vaccine cards to be re-issued. Many Philadelphia residents who work in New Jersey received their vaccines in the Garden State.

"We're part of a statewide system where we record each vaccination as is every county in New Jersey so in that system if you've been vaccinated in our system we'll be able to get you a card one way or another," said Capelli. New Jersey currently does not have a vaccine mandate.

After Monday's announcement by the city about the new mandate, restaurants and venues with eating establishments like The Wells Fargo Center, Reading Terminal Market and The Pennsylvania Convention Center said they are working out the details, all have abided by the COVID restrictions throughout the pandemic.

"There's going to be all different kinds of things to be adjusted to. I expect the picture of your vaccination card on your phone will be sufficient, it was in New York. We'll cross those problems when we come to it."