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What are your options when providing proof of COVID vaccination at events?

With new mandates requiring guests at Highmark Stadium and KeyBank Center to be vaccinated, and to show proof, here are options for those new to the game.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — It was announced on Tuesday that anyone who wants attend a Bills game at Highmark Stadium, or an event at KeyBank Center downtown, will have to be vaccinated for COVID. 

They'll also have to provide proof that they've gotten their shots.

For those already vaccinated, acquiring proof is old hat. But for those who haven't been immunized and now plan to be, they will need to decide which option they have verify their status and which works best for them.

No choice if you want to go

With no test-out option available, anyone who wants attend events at the stadium or the arena is now compelled to get the shot.

If they decide to do so, acceptable forms of proof include your actual vaccine card, the New York State Excelsior Vaccine pass, which can be downloaded on your smartphone, or the CLEAR digital vaccine card.

Forms of proof of vaccination issued by other states will also be accepted, according to Erie County officials, who note that fans do often travel from outside of New York to attend events here.

Deadline approaching

It's important to know that if you've not gotten a shot yet, you can still get into the stadium or the arena, as long as you get one before the new vaccination policy goes into effect in 10 days.

Between September 25 and October 31, attendees at both venues will be permitted even if they have a single dose of vaccine, even if the vaccine they choose requires a a two-dose regiment.

If this is case, though, the Excelsior Pass isn't much of an option, because it's only issued 15 days after the final dose vaccine is administered.

The CLEAR digital vaccine card may be a better option for those getting a COVID shot for the first time, but they are advised to get the shot sooner than later because it can take up to a day or so to initially process.

Therefore, for those who are planning to get the shot in order to keep attending events at either venue, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention vaccine card, issued at the point of immunization, may perhaps be the best bet.

County officials remind, however, that only the actual card will be accepted as proof of vaccination, and that photos of the card or photocopies of it will be rejected.

Meanwhile, the Buffalo Bills say that while purchasers of single-game tickets cannot get refunds if they choose not be vaccinated, season ticket holders can get a pro-rated refund, but have only by this Friday to apply.  

The first large-scale venue where the new vaccine policy will be put into effect will be at the arena for the Eric Church concert on Saturday, September 25.

Ticketmaster did not return a message seeking additional information. However, according to policies listed on its website, tickets are not refundable unless you bought insurance for $8 a ticket at point of purchase.

So, it appears that anyone who bought them and who isn't planning on getting a COVID shot won't be allowed in, and they may want to sell them or give them to someone who meets the new admittance criteria.