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Should You Get Your Covid-19 Vaccination Record Card Laminated? How To Protect It

Now that you’ve finally gotten that Covid-19 vaccine record card verifying that you’ve been vaccinated, should you do what you do with anything important in your life: get it laminated?

After all, nothing says, “I love you, I need you, I want to protect you,” as does lamination, right? Didn’t Aqua tells you in the song “Barbie Girl” that “life in plastic, it’s fantastic,” even though that song was not really about laminating vaccination cards?

There are plenty of ways to laminate your Covid-19 vaccine record card. For example, OfficeMax and Office Depot are offering to copy your Covid-19 vaccine record card and laminate the copy for free at their U.S. stores through July 25, 2021. Apparently Staples is offering free lamination as well through May 1. Keep in mind that this offer only applies to Covid-19 vaccine record cards. So don’t try to slip in your One Direction fan club membership card at the same time. You can also purchase a lamination machine should you feel the urge laminate everything else in your apartment or home.

But before you rush to encase your card in plastic, consider several things. The Covid-19 vaccination record card does have multiple lines for each time you get a Covid-19 vaccine dose. There’s a good chance that this won’t be the last time that you get a Covid-19 vaccination. You’ll probably need a second dose if you just got the first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccine. Plus, the protective effects of the COvid-19 vaccine may not last forever. Chances are you’ll need a booster dose sometime reasonably soon. Laminating your card can prevent anyone from entering subsequent vaccinations on your card as the following tweet warned:

Additionally, the lamination process could smudge or smear the ink on your Covid-19 vaccine record card, potentially rendering it unreadable. Therefore, if you are going to get your card laminated, make sure that the ink at least is dried and make a copy of the card first. This will protect you in case a “smear campaign” arises when the card gets laminated. Moreover, this is not the time to go cheap on the lamination. The card needs to be readily readable through the lamination.

Whether you get your card laminated or not, here are seven ways to protect this oh-so-important card:

1. Take a photo of your Covid-19 vaccine record card.

This shouldn’t be a selfie with you going, “woooo!” Just include the actual card. And don’t get all artsy and use funky lighting and cat filters. Make sure that the photo shows all of the contents of the card as clearly as possible.

2. Don’t stop at one copy.

It’s a good idea to keep multiple copies of your Covid-19 vaccine record card in different locations. One copy can be easily lost. Two copies allows you to lose one and still have another copy around. Three copies are even better. Of course, 728,117 copies may be overdoing it a bit. When you can’t find other stuff in your apartment or house underneath the piles and piles Covid-19 vaccine record card copies, you may have gone overboard.

3. Store the copies in a secure location.

Your Facebook page is not a secure location. Others, including strangers, can easily read and download whatever you post. Treat that photo of your vaccination card like you would that picture of you naked on a pogo stick, away from public viewing. Or at the very least, blur out the sensitive areas. Plus, even when no one seems to be viewing your pages, Facebook and its algorithms are and who knows what they may be collecting and where they may be selling this info. In fact, don’t post copies of your Covid-19 vaccine card on any social media platform. That would be like saying, “hey take my information, strangers! I don’t care.” The same goes for dating apps and web sites. Sure, “already vaccinated” may be more of a selling point than “can hold a fish while shirtless” on a dating profile. But people could use your photo to make counterfeit vaccine record cards. Yes, shocking but true, people are willing to lie about things like being vaccinated.

4. Store the copies in a clean and reasonably climate controlled location.

Protect your card against the elements, that is anything that may degrade the writing on the card or the card material. Don’t keep your card under some leaky pipes, in the toilet, on the window sill, in the sauna, in your underwear, in a bee hive or any place that is not climate controlled. And no your underwear is not climate-controlled. The climate there may change quite drastically every several hours or so because of certain, ahem, elements.

5. Ask your vaccination location about how you may access records in the future.

Although there isn’t yet a formal national system of tracking Covid-19 vaccinations, the place and organization that gave you the vaccine may be keeping records. This assumes that they were a legit vaccination site and not “the restroom in the local doughnut shop” or “some dude named Victor who is also trying to sell you some jewelry.” Before leaving the vaccination site, ask them how you may be able to access your records should you lose your original Covid-19 vaccine card.

6. Keep a copy of your Covid-19 vaccine record card with your other travel and identification documents.

You never know when and where you made need to present your Covid-19 vaccination card. In the near future, airlines, hotels, gyms, restaurants, and other businesses may require you to present proof of vaccination to enter and use their services. Therefore, it may be helpful to have all necessary documents in one place.

7. Don’t let others make copies of your Covid-19 vaccine record card.

Your Covid-19 vaccine record card will include sensitive information like your birthdate. So don’t let others make copies of your card unless it is absolutely necessary and they will keep your info secure. Don’t send copies of the card via email either. Your email can be about as secure as a wicker bank vault.

Again, there is currently no formal system of tracking who has been vaccinated and who has not. That’s because the Covid-19 vaccine roll-out in 2020 was about as well-planned as a ballroom dance competition planned by marmots. The government could have set up some kind of tracking system before even rolling out the Covid-19 vaccines. But they didn’t. Therefore, it is up to you maintain and protect your own records. You never know when and why you may need the card in the future.

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