ORLANDO, Fla. – It only takes a few scrolls on your favorite social media platform to know that people are proud to be the owners of COVID-19 vaccination cards these days.
To help keep the cards in tip-top condition long term, some stores have offered to laminate them for free but, according to CBS News, some health officials warn you might want to think twice before doing that, especially if you’ve opted for a two-shot vaccine.
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Some health officials are advising Americans who’ve received a COVID-19 shot to not laminate their vaccination card.— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) April 5, 2021
The process can damage the card, and if booster shots are needed the vaccination cards will need to be filled in. pic.twitter.com/JyYm5ZESml
Not only could the card get damaged or the ink become illegible in the process, the network reports, but both Pfizer and Moderna require two doses, while Johnson & Johnson’s shot is a one-and-done situation.
Regardless of which shot you choose, you’ll get a vaccination card courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as soon as you get inoculated for the first time.
The card includes personal information — which is why experts have recommended you don’t post photos of it online — as well as the details about your shot, such as when and where you received it and the vaccine manufacturer and lot number.
I know, you’re excited because you waited for what feels like forever for that extra layer of protection against COVID-19. You’re proud of that card and you want to preserve it as long as you can, so driving to your nearest Staples to have it laminated might seem like the right thing to do.
But if you received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, you’ll definitely want to hold off on laminating, because your card will need to be updated in just a few weeks anyway, when you return for that second dose.
If you choose to get the J&J, you might not need a second shot, but with any of these vaccines, health officials haven’t ruled out the possibility of needing a booster shot down the road.
If and when booster shots are needed, they’ll need to be added to your card.
So yes, keeping the card safe is important, especially because of all the information it contains could be needed down the road.
But instead of something as permanent as lamination, you might want to consider storing your card in a clear protective holder, much like the ones baseball card collectors use for safekeeping. That way, you have the option to remove it any time you need it then safely tuck it back away again.