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COVID-19 vaccine cards: Should you laminate it? What happens if you lose it? Here's what you should know.

COVID-19 vaccination card
Posted at 11:27 AM, Apr 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-15 11:30:39-04

DENVER — A COVID-19 vaccination card may soon be the hottest ticket in town. At some point, it may be needed for access into concerts, sporting events and travel.

So, what happens when a person loses their vaccination card? And what can people do to keep them protected?

At the drive-up vaccine clinic in Commerce City, Colorado, Marco says getting the vaccine is something to celebrate, and he proudly waved his vaccine card to prove it.

"It's super important," he said. "I'm from Italy. I want to see my parents, and I want to bring my wife and son to Italy with everyone safe."

After months of waiting and long lines, people have worked hard to get their vaccine. And losing the proof is a major headache.

"I’m responsible and I own it, but trying to get it replaced has been a nightmare," said Lyla Kinsel, a Florida resident who accidentally threw away her card.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says anyone who loses their card should call their vaccine provider or state immunization information service.

When none of that worked for Kinsel, she tried calling her primary care doctor.

"My doctor’s office said, 'Oh sure, we’ve got a copy.' I didn't know they did that," Kinsel said.

Meanwhile, health officials say that vaccine cards are part of a person’s medical records, so people should handle and store them as they would other important documents and medical records.

The CDC also recommends taking a picture of the card on a phone or making a photocopy as a backup.

A spokeswoman with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) says that there are varying opinions on laminating vaccine cards, but some may laminate their vaccine cards if they choose to do so once their vaccination series is complete. Other methods include using a small plastic cover, similar to a luggage tag, to reduce wear and tear on the card from handling.

Staples and Office Depot will laminate COVID-19 vaccination cards for free. However, there are concerns that lamination might blur the ink or make it hard to add booster shots at a later date, so its recommended that people laminate a copy of the card and keep the original in a safe place.

This story was originally published by Jaclyn Allen on KMGH in Denver.

Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering