It finally happened: The shot is officially in your arm and the proof of vaccination is in your hand. On to the next challenge: figuring out the best ways to protect your vaccine card. To get some insight, I talked to two COVID-19 experts.
Dr. Daniel Larremore of the Larremore Lab at the University of Colorado Boulders’s BioFrontiers Institute has spent the last year studying the spread and mitigation of COVID-19. According to Dr. Larremore, “At this point, it’s unclear what the needs for this card are going to be. I’d file it in a safe place that’s easy to remember, and perhaps scan a copy into your secure files.” He says it’s possible that we’ll need proof of vaccination for certain activities, and that eventually, there may be apps and tech solutions that will make it possible to verify vaccination, but we’re not there yet.
Jessica Malaty Rivera, MS, is the Science Communication Lead at the COVID Tracking Project, and she recommends a sturdy pocket-style protector because, in her words, “I have kids and that card is going to end up in their mouth or colored on in about a week.” She advises against laminating, as the current cards may be used for future booster shots, a concern echoed by Dr. Larremore. In other words, opt for temporary protection solutions and hold off on permanent lamination for the time being. Malaty Rivera also notes that she keeps her card safely on her desk at home — not on her person — in order to minimize the risk of losing it.
To make post-vaccine life easy, I’ve rounded up a few helpful tools that’ll not only help prevent your card from being damaged, but will keep it from getting lost as well. From clear card protectors to small file folders and brightly colored lock boxes, here are the some of the best ways to protect your vaccine card.
1. A 2-Pack Of Clear Waterproof Protectors
Malaty Rivera recommends these 4-by-3-inch protectors, which are perfectly sized for vaccine cards, and since they’re waterproof, dust-proof, and resistant to creasing, you can rest assured your card will remain intact. The protectors are clear on both sides for easy viewing and feature a pinch-seal closure on top, so that the card stays securely inside. They’re available in sets of two, five, and 10.
According to a reviewer: “Fits the vaccination card perfectly. Didn't want to have to worry about the card getting bent or stained after waiting for it all this time.”
2. A Leather Holder That Feels Official
A vaccine card feels very official, so if you want a holder that offers equal gravitas, check out this leather passport holder. The bifold holder has a pocket for a passport, as well as multiple pockets for credit cards, and a compartment that several reviewers report is perfectly sized for your vaccine card. It has a snap closure and comes in eight colors, like classic brown and black, as well shades like rose gold and sky blue.
According to a reviewer: “Got it to hold my Passport and Covid Vaccination Card all in one place. Love the color, I got the rose gold.”
3. A File Folder With Closed Sides
Dr. Larremore advises filing your vaccine card away in a safe spot, and this expanding file folder has closed sides, which helps ensure that small documents (like 4-by-3-inch cards) won’t fall out or get lost. There are 13 dividers to hold other documents, and the hook-and-loop closure on the flap works to keep papers securely inside.
According to a reviewer: “Helps keep a very disorganized person much more organized. I keep my important stuff in here where its always easy to find.”
4. A Small File Folder You Can Stash In A Drawer
If you don’t have a filing cabinet or box, you can use this compact expanding file folder and stash it in a drawer. Although it’s designed for storing coupons, cards, and receipts, the compact size and closed sides make it a good option for keeping vaccine cards in a safe, designated place as well. The accordion-style organizer has 13 pockets with dividers, so you can also store and clearly label other important documents, and the hook-and-loop closure keeps everything securely inside. Choose from five colors.
According to a reviewer: “I love it! Makes it easy to keep everything organized.”
5. A Desk Organizer With Small Drawers
Malaty Rivera keeps her vaccine card on her desk at home. To keep yours from getting lost among a jumble of papers, you can use this desk organizer with two built-in drawers that are perfectly sized for small documents. Made from eco-sustainable bamboo, the organizer also has a larger drawer and a tray that can be used for office supplies like pens and staplers.
According to a reviewer: “Fits well on my desk. Keeps my important papers in front of me.”
6. A Lock Box That Can Also Store Other Valuables
Although it isn’t necessary to keep your proof of vaccination under lock and key, this powder-coated steel lock box is nonetheless perfect for anyone who’s concerned about losing track of their card. Not only can it act as a designated place for your card, passport, and any other valuables, but the bright red color might actually help you spot the box when you need it. Also available in blue, it has a removable cash tray inside, and the included key allows you to lock and unlock the box as needed.
According to a reviewer: “Bought it to keep my passport and other documents protected. Very sturdy construction and easy to carry.”
7. A Lanyard Holder For Your Passport & Vaccine Card
Malaty Rivera recommends keeping your card in a safe place at home, but if you’re traveling and need to take it along for some reason, this lanyard is a good option. The clear pocket is sized for 4-by-3-inch vaccine cards, and the rest of the pouch can hold up to three passports, plus boarding passes. In fact, there are even three additional pockets for hand sanitizer, lip balm, and other small essentials. Choose from black, blue, or a two-pack with both.
According to a reviewer: “Simple and effective [...] they appear to be made well enough for use at the airport and I expect they will hold up for a number of trips.”