Why you should not laminate your vaccine card just yet: Experts warn you may need to add booster shot information and the plastic coating prevents errors from being fixed
- Stores like Staples and Office Deport have offered to laminate CDC vaccination cards for free
- Health experts say Americans don’t need to have their cards laminated and instead advise taking photos and making photo copies
- They say that laminating a card could prevent errors from being fixed such as your name, date of birth, and the dates and location of your doses
- Laminating your card could also hinder additional information from being added if booster shots for variants are needed
- Several people have reported that the lamination process has made the writing on the cards ineligible
As the number of Americans vaccinated against COVID-19 increase, more and more people are receiving the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) little white card.s
Several companies, including Staples and Office Depot, are offering to laminate vaccine cards for free through the month of April to protect them.
However, health experts said you should think twice before doing so.
They say that the plastic coating prevents errors from being fixed and you may not be able to add information about booster shots if they are needed down the road to protect against variants.
Health experts say Americans don’t need to have their cards laminated and instead advise taking photos and making photo copies
They say that the plastic coating prevents errors from being fixed and you may not be able to add information about booster shots if they are needed down the road to protect against variants. Pictured: A nurse inoculates Sarah Luisi at the Uniondale Hempstead Senior Center, n Uniondale, NY, March 31
Firstly, experts recommend making sure all your information is correct before laminating your card.
This includes your name, your date of birth, the date you received your vaccine dose for Johnson & Johnson or doses for Pfizer and Moderna, and the location.
Dr Leana Wen, an emergency physician and visiting professor of health policy and management at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health advised creating a back-up of your card before laminating it.
‘Take a picture after getting the first shot, then after the second one too, in case you lose the physical card,’ she told CNN.
‘Keep the picture on your phone, and email yourself a copy to be safe.’
Wen also advised photocopying the card and keeping it in a safe place, perhaps where other important documents are store.
This is due to several reports of people saying the lamination process has been making the writing on the cards ineligible.
In Pinellas County, Florida officials say multiple people have called about the writing being hard to read after laminating.
‘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 KRON 4.
‘So what happens is if you put them through a thermal laminator, they will be completely black and illegible.’
In addition, if we need booster shots to protect against variants, nothing could be added to the card.
However, Wen says if you’ve already laminated your card, that shouldn’t stop you from getting a booster shot.
‘If you do end up getting a booster after, you can always get a different card. I wouldn’t let that be a deterrent,’ she told CNN.
‘Lamination isn’t necessary if you follow all the other steps above, too. The key is to have proof of vaccination easily accessible.’
According to the CDC, 106.2 million Americans – 32 percent of the population – have received at least one dose and 61.4 million – 18.5 percent – are fully immunized.
Over the weekend, the U.S. reached an average of three million vaccinations per day and about four million alone were vaccinated on Saturday.