Should You Laminate Your COVID-19 Vaccination Record?
Lamination is an effective, protective measure to take when you want something to last, such as an important paper document, as it can help prevent damage caused by everyday wear and tear, fading, stains, accidental rips, and other common mishaps. But should you laminate every important document you own? We do not recommend doing so – at least not the original copy, that is.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to bring many changes, and as more guidelines come into effect, you may have considered laminating your COVID-19 vaccination record to ensure it is protected, especially in the instances where you may need to carry it with you to show for entry. However, we advise against laminating your original vaccination record, or any other government-issued document, as laminating can often result in the document no longer being accepted.
What do we recommend instead? Keep reading to find out more about the process of lamination, what it can do to your documents, and what we suggest is the safest and easiest alternative.
What Can Happen to Some Documents During Lamination
Did you know that laminating involves heat? Some of the most common types of lamination processes use heated rollers or other forms of heated pressure to adhere a bonded agent to the flexible, transparent material you can see and feel when a document is laminated. While this isn’t usually a concern, some items shouldn’t be laminated, as the heat in the laminating process can destroy them. This includes sonograms, items printed on thermal paper, some high-gloss paper, and polaroid pictures. As well, photographs do not laminate well, which is why we suggest you print them as a colour copy and laminate that instead.
Government documents, in particular, are often printed on thermal paper, which can turn black because of the heat in the laminating process. This is why we strongly advise against laminating the originals of such documents and always recommend making a photocopy. The photocopy, which prints on white printer paper, can be laminated instead, while the original should be safely stored away. A destroyed original of a government-issued document is something that should be avoided at all costs.
Keep a Photocopy of Your COVID-19 Vaccination Record
Photocopying is going to be your best bet against the possibility of ruining your original documents, and this can be applied to your vaccination record. While a laminated photocopy may not be accepted at all the locations where you may need to present it, it certainly makes for a portable backup copy. A photocopy can be resized to fit inside of a wallet and laminated can be a durable, convenient option.
We recommend researching what is accepted (original vs. photocopy) before going anywhere that you know requires proof of vaccination. For airports and government offices, we also suggest saving a photo of the original copy or the PDF on your cellphone, in the instance that a photocopy will not suffice.
If you require any assistance with printing or lamination, contact a The UPS Store near you.