Several businesses offered to laminate people’s COVID-19 vaccination cards for free in a bid to keep them safe from damage, but several public health officials have advised against doing so for several reasons, one of which is the potential need to record booster doses. Another reason, a Florida health official warned, is that the heat from the laminating process could ruin the information on the card or make it difficult to read.
“In some locations, a label is placed on the card that talks about the vaccine brand and lot number and those have been printed on thermal printer labels,” Tom Iovino, public information officer for the Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County, told Fox4KC.com. “So what happens is if you put them through a thermal laminator, they will be completely black and illegible.”
April 7, 2021: Linda Busby, 74, receives a vaccination card after receiving a shot of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine at the Aaron E. Henry Community Health Service Center in Clarksdale, Miss. (AP)
Georges Benjamin, the executive director of the American Public Health Association, told AARP that laminating the card would also make it difficult to record future vaccination doses should the need for booster shots arise.
Currently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not advise for or against laminating vaccination cards on its website, but it does note that you should keep it “in case you need it for future use,” including for your second shot.
“Consider taking a picture of your vaccination card after your second shot appointment as a backup copy,” the agency notes.
For those who have lost the card, or didn’t receive one, the CDC advises contacting the vaccination provider site where you got your first shot or the state health department to find out how to obtain a copy. The CDC said you can also contact the vaccination provider directly to access your vaccination record or contact the state health department’s immunization information system. You can also access your vaccination information via v-safe or VaxText if you enrolled in either program.
“If you have made every effort to locate your vaccination information, are unable to get a copy or replacement of your vaccination card, and still need a second shot, talk to a vaccination provider,” the agency noted.