(NEXSTAR) – It’s important to keep your COVID vaccination card, between doses and otherwise, so that you have proof of vaccination and in the case that eventual booster shots are needed.
But should you laminate it, as Office Depot and Staples are offering to do for free?
It might not be the best idea. There have been multiple reports of the lamination process making the ink on the vaccination card illegible.
In one county in Florida, officials said they received multiple calls of vaccine cards 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,” said Tom Iovino, the public information officer for the Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County. “So what happens is if you put them through a thermal laminator, they will be completely black and illegible.”
Instead, officials recommend making photocopies of the card and taking a photo — of the front and back — with your phone.
What should you do if your card is ruined or lost?
Here’s what the CDC says you can do:
- Contact your vaccination provider directly to access your vaccination record.
- If you can’t reach the vaccination provider, contact your state health department’s immunization information system. You can find state IIS info here.
- If you enrolled in v-safe or VaxText, you can access your vaccination information through those tools.
- If you have made every effort to receive a copy of your vaccination card and still need a second shot, talk to a vaccination provider.