A healthcare worker fills out a COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card...

A healthcare worker fills out a COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card during a Care For The Homeless vaccination event at the Health Center of Susan's Place Shelter For Women in the Bronx last week.   Credit: Bloomberg/Angus Mordant

That flimsy piece of white paper you got after your COVID-19 shot could also be your admission ticket back to normality. Here are answers to questions about the importance of the card given to you after your vaccination.

Is there any other record of my having gotten the vaccine?

Yes, under the law, vaccinations must be reported within 24 hours to the local government. But there is no nationwide database of vaccinated people — yet.

What if I lose my vaccine card?

Obtaining proof from the agency isn’t instantaneous — and probably harder than usual due to pandemic closures. In New York City, the agency number is 212-676-2323, email is CIR@health.nyc.gov, and elsewhere in the state it’s 518-473-4437 and nysiis@health.state.ny.us.

How can I preserve my card?

Vendors are already selling cardholders and sellers sleeves and some stores are offering free lamination services. You should also photocopy both sides of the card.

But before you get the card laminated, you should check to make sure the information on it is correct and complete. Consider also taking a photo of both sides with your phone and emailing yourself a copy.

To what extent will proof of vaccine be required to resume normal life?

Dr. Jay Varma, the senior adviser to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, said Monday: "I do think that we're going to have to get to a world where there's proof of vaccination required for certain activities or events, and the best way to have that proof of vaccination would be to have it digitized"

What is the Excelsior pass?

It's a local version of the vaccine passport being discussed nationally. New York State is offering a mobile app that will verify vaccination, if proof is needed at a venue such as a stadium, arena or other venue.

Questions about the app’s privacy protections — including whether movements and usage are tracked and retained — went unanswered by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s office.

What about privacy concerns for a vaccine passport app?

Privacy advocates and some Republicans say they are worried about the vaccine passport idea, cautioning that a digital ticket back to everyday life is fraught with the potential for the kind of digital totalitarianism seen in places like China. In Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis said he would ban such passports in the state.

Adam Schwartz of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital privacy group, said in an interview said he wouldn’t download such an app, and would counsel against governments and organizations mandating their use.

If vaccine proof must be required, he said, paper is just fine. Otherwise, "what we’re talking about is the placement at doorways across our public life of digital scanning devices — schools, workplaces, restaurants — where people have to hold their phones up in order to pass through the door and so there is an infrastructure we’ve never had before, and it’s habituating people to a level of oversight of their movements that we’ve never used before."

He pointed to data gathered by ID scanners at bars — which were initially used just to check legal drinking age, but data such as name, address and date of birth are now widely retained, aggregated, sold and permanently maintained in databases.

Should I post my vaccine card on social media? (Not unless you like identity theft.)

The AARP notes that vaccine cards routinely contain personal information, such as birth date, full name and sometimes even a unique patient ID, all pay dirt for a would-be identity thief. Together with the vaccination dates — which are also listed on the card — these details are enough to, for instance, gain access to New York State’s Excelsior vaccine passport app for an individual.