The Common Mistake People Are Making With Their COVID-19 Vaccination Card

Your COVID-19 vaccination card feels like both a badge of honor and a passport to freedom now that pandemic restrictions are starting to ease up. You feel pride that you did your part and got vaccinated and a sense of relief because now you feel you can have your life back without the constant fear of catching COVID and not being one of the lucky ones who get through it easily.

You want to keep that vaccination card safe and not just folded up in your wallet where it can get crumpled and torn. The card contains important information on it, including the dates of both doses (if you get the two-dose Pfizer or Moderna vaccines), as well as the lot number your particular dose came from. The lot number can help trace any reported adverse effects you have, while the dates are important to know when you are due for any potential boosters in the future, according to Healthline.

Many people think laminating the card will be the best way to keep it protected, but that's a common mistake and not something we should be doing just yet.

Why laminating your COVID-19 vaccination card is not the best way to protect it

What's so bad about laminating a vaccine card that you should be keeping safe? It's the possible need for booster shots that make up the main reason experts recommend not getting the COVID-19 vaccination card laminated. You'll notice several blank spaces on the back of the card under the dates of your original dose or doses. If you need more shots, the administrator of the vaccine will need to fill in those dates as well, which would be impossible if your card is laminated, according to AARP.

Dr. Niket Sonpal of the Touro College of Medicine, tells that laminating the card at this point in time is a bit premature.

"The card itself contains valuable information on your two doses, including date, timing, and vaccine name and information; however, the United States has not yet instituted vaccine passports for travel or attendance to gatherings," he says. "Additionally, we do not know which way the research will go. Will there be a need for booster shots? They would be placed on that original card."

How to keep your COVID-19 vaccination card protected

So, if you can't laminate the card to keep it protected, what should you do with your COVID-19 vaccination card so it doesn't get ruined? According to Healthline, you can take a picture of both the front and back with your phone. In fact, you are often told to do so when you get the shot. While new information can't be filled out on a digital version, you can keep track of your vaccine dates and lot numbers there.

If you want to keep the card itself intact, place it in an inexpensive small plastic or vinyl sleeve. Finally, if you lose or ruin the card altogether you can replace it by calling the facility that administered the shot. If that fails, you can check your state's health department as they keep immunization records.