Role of kids in spreading COVID, tips for protecting vaccine cards

An illustration of a United States Passport with a COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card in a home in San Diego, California, March 11, 2021. Some European countries such as Spain, Georgia, Greece, and Denmark will allow international travelers who have received the COVID-19 vaccine. Photo by Rishi Deka/Sipa USA

As states continue to reopen, COVID-19 cases are spiking nationwide, and variants are starting to make up a growing share of them. That includes the highly infectious U.K. variant, which has been found in all 50 states. 

“If something is more contagious, it means that the spread becomes potentially exponential,” says Dr. Leana Wen, an emergency physician and public health professor at George Washington University. “And if something is contagious, it also means that the activities that we thought were relatively safer before are now going to be higher risk because it's more transmissible.”

New research also shows that school-aged children are playing a large role in spreading COVID-19, as they’re catching the B.1.1.7 variant.

Meanwhile, more than 167 million people in the U.S. have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. More shots mean more people are carrying vaccination record cards, which could be tickets to resuming concerts, international travel, and other social activities. 

The white cards are the closest thing Americans have to an actual vaccine passport, and health officials are urging vaccinated citizens to take good care of them.