Why I Don’t Plan On Laminating My Covid Vaccination Card & Maybe You Shouldn’t Either

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Should You Laminate Your Covid Vaccination Card

Should You Laminate Your Covid Vaccination Card? I Am Leaning Towards No

A few weeks ago news came out about some cool promos from Office Depot and Staples.  No, it wasn’t more of their amazing gift card offers.  The office store juggernauts were offering to laminate people’s covid vaccination cards for free.  At first I thought this was a really cool promo and planned on taking advantage of it. But then I started thinking about it and questioning, should you laminate your covid vaccination card?  While initially I was all about it, now I am leaning towards not doing it now for a few different reasons.


Details of the Office Store Offer

Before I move onto my reasons on why I am not going forward with laminating my covid vaccination card I thought I should share the details of the offer.  That way you can make the decision that works best for you.

Currently Staples and Office Depot / Office Max will laminate your vaccination card for free.

  • Staples has not announced an end date as of yet.
  • Office Depot / Office Max will laminate your card for free until July 25th.

Remember to take a picture of your vaccine card as a back up copy as well.  I would even email a copy of the picture to yourself and save it in your Gmail etc.  That way you are covered multiple ways if you misplace your card or phone etc.

UPDATE: It looks like the store will make you a copy of the card and laminate that which is a great solution.  They may charge you for the copies though so be aware of that.

Should You Laminate Your Covid Vaccination Card?

A piece of paper isn’t the best option for something that will likely be very important over the next few years.  And that is what makes laminating it so darn appealing.  Laminating your card makes it almost indestructible and then you only have to worry about not losing it. Spills, wear and tear would be a thing of the past though.

Even though it sounds great there are a few reasons I have decided not to laminate my vaccination card.

Border Crossings

For international travel you never know what the requirements will be.  Some countries are very strict on what is needed for entry documents.  And they may be unwilling to accept a vaccination card that has been laminated since it is technically altered from its original state. This could be a reason for refusal to entry for a particular country.

With more and more countries allowing travelers to avoid quarantine with proof of vaccinations the importance of your card will be up there with your passport. Because of that you want to make sure it will actually be accepted and not altered in any way.

Booster Shots Are Likely

Pfizer’s CEO came out this week and said a 12 month booster shot is likely. And to simplify things you will probably want that info added to the vaccination card you already have the other shots on.  No one wants to have to carry around multiple cards when traveling.  It is just one more thing to misplace / lose when on the road.

Should You Laminate Your Covid Vaccination Card

Will There Be A Virtual Vaccination Passport?

I am really hoping that some type of app or website comes out where you can get a barcode or something border agents can scan that shows you have been vaccinated. That would make this whole discussion moot. Though, I am not sure that anything will come out that is accepted worldwide but I am hopeful that maybe Europe will have something that covers travel between their countries etc.

Should You Laminate Your Covid Vaccination Card – Final Thoughts

While these are best guesses on my part and definitely err on the side of caution I think it makes sense for me to resist laminating my vaccination card. If you don’t have plan to travel internationally over the next several years then it may not be as big of a deal to you.  It is tempting to make something so valuable less destructible so I could see why some will go forward with doing it.

Let me know which way you are leaning and why in the comments below.

Mark Ostermann
Mark Ostermann is a father, husband and miles/points fanatic. He left the corporate world after starting a family in order to be a stay at home dad. Mark is constantly looking at ways to save money and stay within budget while also taking awesome vacations with his family. When he isn't caring for his family or taking a weekend trip, Mark is working towards his goal of visiting every Major League Baseball ballpark.

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  1. The Covid Vaccination card is probably worthless. It could probably be forged by a 15 year old on any half decent printer.

  2. As others above have said, Office Depot makes a copy and laminates that and gives you back the original. Best of all worlds. This post should honestly be deleted because the entire rationale is nullified by the reality at the store.

    • Added that to the article. Why would I delete the article. Others are likely considering laminating their card without these promos so it still offers up points why you shouldn’t alter your original. It wasn’t solely about this deal but more so about making any alterations to your card.

  3. If instead of writing, your vaccination card has thermal stickers, laminating it will turn the stickers black rendering it unreadable and useless.

  4. Your description of the offer is incomplete. Clearly the Office Depot offer includes making a copy of your card and then laminating it for free. Bloggers reported Staples will do the same however going into the store they will charge a few cents to copy and then laminate for reee.

    Ended up at Office Depot with the coupon but the clerk did not need the coupon and he did a beautiful job copying both sides and laminating. This process eliminates your reasons for not laminating and now have two copies of our cards to cover your described issues with one virtually indestructible.

  5. Just a point for many to remember. The vaccine improves the immune system’s response to exposure to COVID-19, it does not technically or fundamentally make you immune. It is proving still possible for those vaccinated to get COVID-19 with and without symptoms and more importantly pass it on to those who have not been vaccinated yet. Caution, masking etc must still be exercised to keep everyone safe.

    • This is a minimal risk – either zero or approaching zero – that shouldn’t dictate anybodies behavior. If we assume the mask offers any mitigation for this risk – which itself is far from proven – the difference in absolute risk would still be too small to measure. If we let ourselves be guided by miniscule risks like these, or course we would not only never travel, but also never do anything. Once vaccinated your risk of getting, much less transmitting Covid, much less getting very sick, and much less still dying from it, are all overwhelmed by normal background risks we accept every day without considering them (i.e., getting struck by lightning, killed in crossfire outside a bank being robbed, etc.). Either we’re going to live again, or we’ll all forfeit life and never leave the house in favor of all of these immeasurably small safety gains.

    • If your standard now is 100% safe from Covid before we take off our masks and start living normal lives, you will never start living normal lives. At this point, there are a myriad of things that pose a far more real threat to us while traveling than Covid does (or ever did, I submit). It’s time to end this absurd health panic over one, count ’em, ONE specific health concern amid zillions of others. But the good news is, if you are vaccinated and still believe your covid risk is too high, you’re free to lockdown and/or be triple-masked and social distance and stay away from restaurants (but grocery stores are fine)(lol) and never travel anywhere and you’ll be fine. Because masks and social distancing works. But stop forcing your opinion of what’s “too risky” and let the rest of us get back to life.

  6. I think I remember hearing that at least one of these stores is willing to make a copy and then laminate the copy. That way you don’t have to worry about altering the original

  7. Why not make a copy of the vaccination card and laminate that copy. That way you have a more secure record in case the original gets destroyed but the original is still clear to use as needed.

  8. I’m going to wait 3 or 4 years and then decide if I should get the vaccine. I’m not so much concerned with the side effects as there is a small number of people who have them. I’m concerned with how a vax’d person’s immune system will respond to other variants or other diseases, in general. For instance, I’ve been reading that a vax’d person may fare 7X worse if they come into contact with the South African strain. Whereas a non-vax’d person who has antibodies will do far better. The information is sparse due to the tech wars, but I’m still able to get bits and pieces from reliable sources. So I wait. And I watch. And I learn.

  9. 1) When I get the shot, I still will refuse to go any place that requires that I prove it, unless they’re consistent and require proof of MMR, polio, etc vaccination. F all the fearmongers.

    2) the cards my friends are posting show a 6-month expiration on the vaccination. What’s the point?

  10. Don’t have to worry about laminating it as I don’t plan to get the shot…even if that means that only domestic travel is in my foreseeable future.

  11. I was anxious to get vaccinated in the hope that my immunity from Covid would allow me to avoid quarantine, but the list of countries that seem to believe in the efficacy of the vaccines and would allow me in to enter without quarantine and travel normally is surprisingly and disappointingly short. The US won’t even allow me back into the country without a test for a disease that I’m now immune to. I feel a bit hoodwinked.

    • I think we just need to be patient. The list will keep expanding. Ireland will soon be exempting vaccinated travelers from the hotel quarantine scheme (required for arrivals from certain countries). Though it is maddening that here in the US, they won’t exempt vaccinated travelers from the mandatory testing for US re-entry.

    • I think that will change once the vaccination numbers of a particular country are high enough. I expect the returning requirements (testing) to change for US citizens sometime later this summer after the CDC made their domestic travel updates.


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