Why You Should Never Laminate Your COVID-19 Vaccine Card

Plus, what you should do with that VIC (very important card) instead.

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You've navigated the process of signing up for your COVID-19 vaccine and are now a card-carrying, fully vaccinated human. There's a solid chance that 4-inch by 3-inch piece of paper is going to be an MVP in your life for quite some time, scoring you everything from free doughnuts at Krispy Kreme to the right to travel abroad sans-quarantine.

This very important card includes your name, birthdate, vaccine manufacturer and the specific vaccine lot number your dose came from, plus where and when the vaccine was given. Since those details are so important, a lot of people are suggesting that you laminate your vaccine card—and some office supply stores are even offering to do so for free.

COVID-19 Vaccine Record card on a designed background
Getty Images / Vlad Yushinov

Don't rush out to do so, though. As we mentioned in our recap of what we know about how long the COVID-19 vaccine protects you, we very well might need a booster shot eventually. (Hence those extra slots below the "1st Dose" and "2nd Dose" lines.) So having access to add more items to the list may come in handy down the road.

Instead, scan or take a photo of the vaccine card to save on your phone for easy access, then tuck the actual copy away safely in something like one of these clear protective covers.

2 Pack - CDC Vaccination Card Protector 4 X 3 in Immunization Record Vaccine Cards Holder

vaccine card holder

CDC Vaccination Card Protector

vaccine card holder

Clear 4X3 Plastic Immunization Card Holder Protector for Flying

vaccine card holder

Down the road, a digital vaccine passport will be able to track all of this information virtually so you won't need to tote the card around like an actual passport to travel. But until then, it's best to keep the document itself hidden away in a handy place so you can grab and go when needed.

No need to worry if you happen to lose or ruin your card. (Hey, a coffee spill happens to the best of us!) You should be able to contact the pharmacy, clinic or organization that gave you your original dose(s) and ask for a duplicate record. This data should also be available through your state's immunization registry, so you can also contact your state health department.

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