(CNN) — Vaccine eligibility in the United States is expanding rapidly, as is the popularity of the small vaccination card issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
While plans are still being developed to establish a test of standardized vaccination, many keep their vaccination cards against covid-19 as a potential form of social currency.
While it may be tempting to laminate your vaccination card as soon as possible, you should take some time and make sure you have considered a few things beforehand.
Here’s what you need to know about laminating your coveted shot card.
Verify the information on your vaccination card
If you are receiving a two-dose vaccine, be sure to receive and document both doses on your card before you laminate it.
Check all of your information, including their name, date of birth, and the date and location of the vaccine, for accuracy.
Make sure you have a backup
You should definitely create a backup copy of your card before laminating it.
Dr. Leana Wen, an ER Physician and Professor of Public Health at George Washington University, told CNN that she recommends taking a photo of the card after each dose.
“Take a photo after the first shot, then also after the second, in case you lose the physical card,” he said. “Save the photo to your phone and email a copy to be safe.”
Wen said she also recommends photocopying the card and keeping it in the same place as other important documents, like your birth certificate.
After this, if you want to laminate your vaccination card, do it, he says, Wen.
Find out what to do if you damage or lose your vaccination card
There is concern that the lamination process could damage the cards, smear the ink, or make it unreadable.
But even if your card is damaged in the lamination process, there are options.
In case of damage or loss of your card, you will need to contact your vaccine provider to obtain another certificate.
If you have problems communicating with your provider, you can visit the CDC directory of the Immunization Information System (IIS) from your state Department of Health.
While the CDC itself does not have immunization record information, providers must report immunizations to the IIS or their state’s respective registry. Contact the phone number or email address in your state to access your registry and get your new card.
Proof is the most important thing, laminated or not
Some worry that laminating their vaccine cards will cause problems in the future if booster shots of the Covid-19 vaccine are needed.
Still, Wen says it shouldn’t be a cause for concern.
“If you end up getting a booster later, you can always get a different card,” he said. “I wouldn’t let that be an impediment.”
Ultimately, what trumps all is proof that you are vaccinated, laminated or not.
“Lamination is not necessary if you also follow all the steps above,” said Wen. “The key is to have an easily accessible proof of vaccination.”
As long as you have your card, it is in a good place. Just remember not to share it on social media.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism