Should you laminate your Covid vaccine card?

just photo copy… if you can


yes, but: you get a smartphone app that will become the passport!


A standard plastic, vertical ID holder available at all office stores by the 10 pack is exactly the right size to hold them.


It’s weird to me to think of these as very official. They could be forged in a New York minute.


Can’t they just read the microchips?


My expectation is that there will also be an option to carry a card or print-out with a state-issued QRcode linking back to a government registry. The idea here is that a border guard or restaurant host or employer, etc., scans the QR code with their device and gets either a big green checkmark or a big red X in response. The vaccination record resides on a government server somewhere rather than the device.

It’s going to be a mess to sort out in the U.S., with different states taking different approaches (including GOP denialism) to vaccinations and using their own (often shoddily designed) registry systems. If the private for-profit insurers horn in on things it’ll be even worse.


until people take a screenshot of the app and just show that instead.


it’ll have to include biographical information as well verified against another state issued id, like a drivers license or something.

otherwise everyone could use the same code.

im really not in favor of an id i have to carry with me everywhere to access basic services. maybe it’s just a holdover from childhood where “papers please” was a movie shorthand for oppressive government - but in america where it’s already hard for some to get state issued ids… it feels like a really bad idea


I think when you work to make people healthy and save lives, it is probably still not instinctive to consider just how many people are actually opposed to what you do. Save some subfields like reproductive and women’s health.


No one has yet mentioned the millions of archivists crying out in anguish every time a card is laminated.


Just set your FB status to “vaccinated” …


Definitely. Or an actual passport if travelling internationally. The QR code will (ideally) refer to a unique record with basic ID info or maybe a photo or fingerprint.

Still, I think in most situations apart from border crossings there won’t be a secondary check (or it will just be dropped). That will be especially true if you’re using a phone app.

I feel the same way.

Apart from crossing international borders or going into government buildings, most ihre papiere bitte demands in the U.S. will be from private companies offering public accommodations (restaurants, arenas and stadiums, theatres, hotels, etc.). Not as bad as the police doing random checks (which still may happen in public parks), but still creepy and intrusive.

It sucks, but that’s how it’s going to shake out. And yes, lots of people are going to be left out. That will be especially true for U.S. residents. It’s going to be an enormous mess in the States in comparison to other countries, both for international and domestic travel and internal checks, because America does not do these things well.

Vaccinated citizens of the EU, Canada, Australia, NZ and Japan (all of which will have national registries and data interchange standards) will probably be able to start travelling a lot sooner than most Americans will.

U.S. states like California and NY will get on board with the international standards. If you live in a state like Florida, though, you might not be able to enter a restaurant in California if you travel there (assuming you’re allowed on a plane to the state). And forget about being let into other countries.

Fun times ahead!


In Texas they are supposedly registering who has vaccines with the state’s Immutrac. I wonder if they will end up hooking that database into the drivers’ license one? Present your ID, employee puts it through the card reader, and ID and vaccine status confirmed.

Eta: immutrac is a state database tracking other vaccines. Mostly used by docs and schools.


The vaccinator doesn’t sign the form; they just note the location (e.g. “Walgreens”). On my card, those fields were blank. What’s important about this card is that it notes the lot numbers of vaccine that you got, for reference in case a problem occurs with a particular lot. There’s nothing special about this particular piece of cardboard. You can make your own with the same information and it’s equally as valid.

I volunteer at a mass vaccination site. If somebody comes in for their second shot without the card from their first, we just fill out another.


A couple of points:

  • Many of the strips of information that the people at the vaccine site attach to your card, which includes date, type, batch number, etc. are printed on a type of thermal paper that will go totally black if it’s exposed to heat, for example in a laminator;

  • You can instead laminate a copy of your card, which still leaves open the possibility of updating with boosters and then making a new copy to be laminated;

  • These types of protectors do a good job, can be worn on a lanyard (through TSA, for example), and are designed to fit the card perfectly:


the more i think about it, the more i see stuff like hippa blocking the ability to cross reference databases. and there are going to be tons of court challenges if you can’t get on or off a plane.

all the current policies for things like this are recommendations, and even states where things sre being taken more seriously don’t have any enforcement techniques. i expect it will probably be the same?

if covid variants and anti vax drag this on for another few years, maybe. but i honestly think the us is too disorganized for it.

mostly i think the public will be left to “personal responsibility” and determining their own risk for things like restaurants, stadiums, and the like.

some places, flights, etc. - especially if you’ve got the money - might give you covid-free seats, but im guessing mostly not

going to the office, maybe. going to the bar, no.


Absolutely. Since those cases will wend their way up to the SCOTUS, it will be a years-long process. That means a lot of starts and stops to various policies depending on the rulings.

I think some states will try, but even California finally threw up its hands last month and told the counties and municipalities to do things as they saw fit. In effect that meant handing over most enforcement to private businesses.

We’ve seen what happened over the past year with the U.S. trying to deal with the vaccine itself. The “neoliberal default” is just not suited for addressing massive and complex problems like pandemics or climate change. Add in the “states’ rights” philosophy and the primacy of corporations and it becomes even worse.

Maybe, but many of those private venues (especially the big corporate ones) will also be worried about liability. That might be addressed with one-sided waivers or EULAs on the micro scale, but corporations are also worried about a repeat of the economic shutdowns we’ve seen over the past year.

Air travel is one sector where I do expect vaccine passports to become the norm. Americans already give up a number of rights enjoyed elsewhere to fly, including domestically. Internationally, it will be a certainty. With a vaccine refusal rate of 30%, the U.S. is going to be a hotbed of variants for years to come and will be treated by other OECD countries like the developing world.


Use a vacuum sealer?

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The card has space for 4 shots/boosters, but the people who filled mine out each used two spaces, so my card is now full. I’m not going to laminate though, I’ve put it with my passport and saved a picture on my phone.


I’m sure it’s not going to change anyone’s mind, but I kind of see this as washing one’s hands before preparing food, or doing surgery. (I know, gloves, but still). Yes, washing your hands is a private action that has ramifications for your personal health, but it’s ok for us to demand it.

Now I sort of wish Bill Gates HAD put a chip into the vaccine.