Getting the COVID-19 vaccine is a big deal. For those who have been working with the public for the past year and worrying about bringing the virus home, it’s the protection they’ve been waiting for. On another level, it’s the key to get things back to normal. Movies, sports concerts, restaurants and most importantly to people reading a travel blog, the vaccine and proof you’ve received it is the missing piece to being able to travel again.
So it’s understandable that once people get vaccinated, they want to protect the card’s information. It’s only a thick piece of paper and it’s hard to believe that this might be one of the most important documents you’ll ever hold.
The one seemingly simple way to preserve the card from the upcoming wear and tear would be to laminate it. Protecting it from spills, folds and accidental tears seems a no-brainer. To help, office supply stores Staples and Office Depot/Office Max have both offered to laminate the cards for free.
But it turns out, that may be a bad idea.
With vaccination sites doing dozens, hundreds or thousands of shots a day, it would take valuable time to fill out all of these cards by hand. To save time, many locations are using stickers with the vaccine information.
But what if the vaccination site printed those labels on a thermal printer? That’s something that Florida residents in Pinellas County are finding out.
Tom Iovino, public information officer for the Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County, said some vaccination locations are using labels printed with the vaccine manufacturer and lot number and affixing them to vaccine cards. The problem appears to be that the labels were made on a thermal printer, and the lamination process uses heat.
“If it’s printed on a thermal printer, if you go to laminate it (and) heat up the label, it will turn black,” Iovino said — as in, a square of black instead of letters and numbers.
Instead of laminating it, just make sure to take a picture of your card with the completed info. It shouldn’t be that difficult to get a replacement if your original gets damaged. Hopefully, we’ll eventually be able to get digitally certified vaccination records, like the CLEAR Health Pass or the IATA Travel Pass.
Until then, maybe it’s best to skip the laminator and just stash your card in the drawer with all the credit cards you don’t use.
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#stayhealthy #staysafe #washyourhands #wearamask #getyourCOVIDvaccine
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary
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Great consideration. When I get my second shot in a couple of days I intend to photocopy it onto card stock and laminate the photocopy. That way I can add booster stickers to the original as needed.
Most thermal paper printouts deteriorate after a few weeks anyways. Ever kept a grocery store receipt and checked it after a month? It’s blank. Take a picture of it and keep it on your phone, same as you would your passport, visa and any travel document you might lose.