ATLANTA (CNN) – The eligibility of vaccines in the United States is expanding rapidly, as is the popularity of the small white card of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Although plans to establish standardized evidence for vaccination are still being developed, many are holding on to their Covid-19 vaccine cards as a potential form of social currency.
And companies like Staples and Office Depot offer to help keep them safe with free lamination.
Although it may be tempting to get a laminated vaccine card as soon as possible, you should take the time to make sure you think about a few things in advance.
Here’s what you need to know about laminating your desired vaccine card.
Check your information again
If you are receiving a two-dose vaccine, make sure you have received and documented both doses on your card before laminating it.
Recheck all your information ̵
Make sure you have a backup
You should definitely back up your card before laminating it.
Dr. Leana Wen, an emergency physician and professor of public health at George Washington University, told CNN that she recommended taking a picture of the card after each dose.
“Take a picture after the first shot, then after the second, in case you lose your physical card,” she said. “Save the photo to your phone and email a copy to be safe.”
Wen said he also recommends that you copy the card and keep it in the same place with other important documents, such as your birth certificate.
Then, if you want to laminate your card, Wen says “go for it.”
Know what to do if your card is damaged or lost
There are concerns that the lamination process could damage the cards, smudge the ink or make it illegible.
But even if your card is damaged in the lamination process, there are options.
In the event of damage or loss of your card, you will need to contact your vaccine provider to get another one.
If you have problems connecting to your provider, you can visit the CDC Directory of Public Health Immunization Information Systems (IIS).
As long as the CDC itself does not have information on vaccination records, providers are required to report vaccinations to the relevant IIS or country registry. Contact the country phone number or email address to access your record and get your new card.
The proof is the most important – laminated or not
Some worry that laminating their vaccination cards will create problems in the future if booster photos of Covid-19 are needed.
Still, Wen says don’t worry.
“If you end up getting a booster after that, you can always get a different card,” she said. “I wouldn’t let that be a deterrent.”
After all, the thing that highlights everything is proof – laminated or not.
“Lamination is not necessary if you follow all the other steps above,” Wen said. “The key is that evidence of vaccination is readily available.”
As long as you have your card, you are in a good place. Just remember not to share it on social media.
The-CNN-Wire ™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., Time Warner. All rights reserved.
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