Should I Laminate My COVID-19 Vaccine Card?

Vaccination Record Card

Lamination can be used to protect documents from rips and spills. It can help preserve information for future generations. It enhances the look of the card, keeps it protected from the elements, and makes it easier to handle. With all that in mind, it might seem like the best choice to laminate your COVID-19 vaccination card.

However, you should think twice before laminating the COVID vaccine card.

The card, which contains information about your date of birth, name, vaccination date, and vaccine type, should be kept in a secure place where you have access to it when you need it in the future. It might be needed later on so you want to know where it is and be sure that it doesn’t become damaged. However, lamination is not the best option.

This article will look at reasons not to laminate your card, even if that might seem like a good choice. We’ll also review why you should make sure not to lose your vaccination card, how you can protect the physical card, and ways to preserve the card digitally so you have a backup option to prove you have been vaccinated.

Important Information on COVID-19 Vaccine Card

Regardless of where you get your vaccination, you should be provided with a vaccination record card. This card has a variety of information that is important to keep track of. It has your name and date of birth, as well as the following information:

  • The type of vaccine you received (Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, or Moderna)

  • The name of your vaccine provider and where the clinic is located

  • The date of when you had your first dose

  • The time when you should get your second dose, if required

Having all of this information about your vaccine will make it easier to know when you need to go back for a second dose. You may or may not make an appointment for the second vaccine when you get the first one. If you did not, it’s best to make an appointment as quickly as you can. The sooner you get a second dose, the quicker it can start to work in your system. As more people are fully vaccinated, your neighborhood will become a safer place to live and work.

But, before you make that appointment, you need to be aware of which vaccine you got the first time and when it was provided. This is why we recommend that you have your card stored somewhere safe until you go back in for your second appointment. It will assist you with scheduling the correct dose at the appropriate time. Some details are included below about when to get a second dose:

  • Pfizer – At least 21 days (or three weeks) after the first dose
  • Moderna – At least 28 days (or four weeks) after your first vaccination
  • Johnson & Johnson – No second dose is required with this vaccine

Once you have your vaccination card and make an appointment for the second, make sure you add that appointment to your calendar. This is also a good time to start planning for taking a day off of work or finding transportation to the location where you get your vaccines. Prepare for the appointment so you do not forget about it or find yourself struggling to reach your appointment on time.

On the day of your second appointment, make sure you bring along your vaccine card. This is important so the provider can update it with the information about the second dose. Once you leave, your card can be once again placed somewhere secure where you can access it in the future. This could be in a safety deposit box in your home or some other location where you keep important medical documents.

Keeping your COVID Vaccine Card Safe

Laminating your vaccine card is a bad idea primarily because of the blank spaces on the card to record future shots. Those blank spaces are there to account for both the second dose of the vaccine (which is often a two-dose regimen) as well as potential future booster shots. Laminating your COVID card would prevent you from being able to add the information around those additional shots to your card.

The great thing about your vaccination card is that it holds all the important information about your vaccines in one place. It gives you all the data about your vaccine and when you got it and can provide that same information to your doctor or others who may need to know.

COVID-19 could evolve, and in fact several variants have already been discovered, so this is important information that you may need in the future if booster shots are required.

Because of this, you should ensure your card is kept safe. Do the same to secure your family members’ cards if you are responsible for them. The actual physical card should be kept in the best condition possible. That means it’s important to be careful about how you use the card. While getting a replacement COVID card is possible, it takes time and effort that you won’t need to expend if the card is safe and secure in your home.

Avoid Sharing COVID Vaccine Card on Social Media

One of the things that many people want to do after the vaccine is to share the experience with friends and family on social media. Many feel proud or relieved after the vaccination and so want to share their results with everyone they know. There is no reason you shouldn’t let people know you had a vaccination done. However, you should not share post photos of your vaccine card on social media.

The reason you shouldn’t share a photo of your card is because others can download the photo or take down your information from it. For a scammer, this gives them personal information that could be used as a way to steal your identity. Rather than posting a photo of the vaccine card, consider a picture of yourself wearing a vaccine sticker. You could also share a photo of yourself at the vaccine clinic once you have your shot.

Laminate Vaccine Card? Better Not…

As someone who has signed up for the COVID-19 vaccine and been through the process of being immunized, you want to have proof that you are vaccinated. While a vaccine card is just a small bit of paper, it has important information associated with the vaccine. Some businesses are even giving out free products or providing discounts to anyone who has a card to show they are vaccinated.

Because of this, laminating the vaccine card might seem like a good idea. The card has important details and laminating a card is typically a good way to make it last longer and protect it from damage. However, this is one situation where laminating the item is not a good idea. Even if you can get it laminated for free, you should avoid it.

Right now, we don’t know exactly how long the COVID-19 vaccine protects people. This means that at some point in the future, whether months or years from now, you may need to get a booster shot. When you take a look at your vaccine card, you may notice that there are multiple lines under the space for your first and second doses. Booster shots would be documented here, so you may need the card to be accessible in the future so extra information can be added.

What to Do if You Lose Your Vaccine Record

Of course, even if your physical card is kept somewhere safe, it’s possible it will be lost or get damaged anyway. On the other hand, maybe you chose to laminate your card only to realize that you shouldn’t have. You need a new copy of the vaccination for your records and you might be wondering what options you have.

One option is to go into the clinic where you had your vaccinations done to ask for a paper record. The CDC has made the recommendation of visiting the location where your first shot was given. However, if this doesn’t work out, you can also speak with the Immunization Information System for your state health department. The providers that offer vaccinations are required to report all of them to the state.

If you want to keep the card safe without laminating it, there are options. The physical card can be placed in a vaccination card protector. These are small plastic covers that go over your card to keep them safe from damage. Rather than laminating plastic on the card, which is impossible to remove, a card protector adds a plastic case that can later be taken off.

Saving a Digital Copy of Your COVID-19 Vaccination Card

With more and more people being vaccinated, the idea of having a backup for the physical card is gaining traction. The COVID-19 vaccine card could be used in the future for everything from traveling to going to events, heading back to the office, and attending classes. Many universities and colleges have already noted that proof of vaccination will be needed to go to classes on campus in the fall of 2021. Companies are also deciding whether they should have employees and clients show proof of vaccination before coming into the office.

In addition to the physical card, making a digital card is a great option. It prevents you from needing to take the card out with you every day. It can also protect your card since it won’t be in your wallet or purse every time you head out into the world. A digital copy is just as useful as a laminated one and it doesn’t come with the disadvantages of lamination that we talked about earlier. Finally, having a digital version allows you to share your card with immediate family members so that you can have your family medical paperwork all in one place.

Photograph Your Vaccination Record Card

Many experts are recommending that people who are vaccinated should take a photograph of the card closely thereafter. What you want is a high-quality photograph of the front of the card as well as one of the back. You can use the camera on your cellphone or tablet for this. The photo can be saved wherever you like so you can access it in the future if you need to.

Consider a Digital Filing Cabinet

Beyond just photographing your card and potentially losing it in your camera roll amongst pet, gardening, or grandchildren photos, you may want to consider a document scanning app. Document scanning apps not only digitize important documents and make them easy to find, they also allow you to share documents as needed with trusted family members.  

A document scanning app can help declutter the papers around your house. And most importantly, it’s a safe way to nominate laminate your COVID vaccination card, but instead keep it securely in a place where you can always find it. Give a document scanner app a shot!, and see how it can change the way you handle your most important documents.