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

Virus Outbreak California
Posted at 4:51 PM, Apr 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-15 11:02:55-04

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

Questions have been coming into Contact Denver7 about protecting cards, losing cards and laminating cards, so we are taking a look at those concerns to give you some answers.

At the drive-up vaccine clinic in Commerce City, 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 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 if you lose your card, call your vaccine provider or your 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," said Kinsel.

Meanwhile, Colorado health officials told Contact Denver7 that vaccine cards are part of a person’s medical records, so Coloradans should handle and store them as they would other important documents and medical records.

A spokeswoman with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) told Contact Denver7 that there are varying opinions on laminating vaccine cards, but Coloradans 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.

If someone loses their vaccine card, they can reach out to the Colorado Immunization Information System (CIIS) Help Desk and request a copy of their entire immunization record, which would include any COVID-19 vaccines administered.

The CDC also recommends taking a picture of the card on your phone or making a photocopy as a backup. Many people are laminating their cards, and Staples and Office Depot will do it for free. Some people are concerned lamination might blur the ink or make it hard to add booster shots at a later date, so you could laminate a copy of the card and keep the original in a safe place.

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