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Should You Get Your COVID-19 Vaccination Card Laminated?

Tips for safeguarding the paper record of your coronavirus vaccination

A patient receives a card showing when they received their first dose of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine.
GRANT HINDSLEY/AFP via Getty Images

Congratulations, you've been inoculated against the coronavirus — and you have an official COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card to prove it.

You should keep the card, which bears your name, date of birth, vaccine type and vaccination date, in a safe place. You may need it in the future. You should also take a photo of the card as a backup, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises.

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Here's what you shouldn't do with your vaccine card: Laminate it.

Georges C. Benjamin, 68, executive director of the American Public Health Association, counsels against laminating your vaccination record. That's chiefly because that card has blank spaces to record future shots, whether the second dose of a two-dose regimen or a booster shot should one become necessary. Sealing the card in plastic would prevent the vaccine provider from adding such information to the original card.

Dr. Georges C. Benjamin, who leads the American Public Health Association, says there’s no need to laminate a vaccine card.
Dr. Georges C. Benjamin, who leads the American Public Health Association, says there’s no need to laminate a vaccination card.
Courtesy American Public Health Association

Protect your vaccine record

As for his vaccine card, Benjamin followed CDC advice and recorded a digital picture on his mobile phone. He placed the paper card in a drawer where he keeps his passport and the yellow international vaccine card he uses, as needed, for foreign travel.

But what if you want to protect your card from coffee stains or smudges from Flamin’ Hot Cheetos? Benjamin says you can keep it safe and stain-free in a plastic sleeve — like the ones used for ID badges. A set of five plastic sleeves could be had for $4.99 on Amazon. 

Another way to protect your vaccination record? As AARP has urged, do not post your vaccine card on social media because it contains sensitive information. Doing so is waving red meat in front of a sharp-fanged identity thief. Instead, treat your hard-earned vaccine card like you would your Social Security card. It's important, private and uniquely yours.

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