Kokua Line: Is it OK to laminate my COVID-19 vaccine card to preserve it?

Christine Donnelly, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser
·3 min read

Apr. 8—Question : The official document you get verifying you've had both of your COVID-19 vaccine doses is such a valuable document. Is it OK to laminate it to preserve it ? Or does the health department not want you to laminate it ? Also, in case you lose this document, is there a database to show you've been vaccinated ? If yes, what are the details about confirming vaccination through the database ?

Answer : Hawaii's Department of Health says it's OK to laminate your COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card, but only after you've received the full dosage of whatever vaccine you receive. Pfizer and Moderna require two doses, while Johnson & Johnson is a one-dose regimen.

The department doesn't encourage people to laminate the card, but it doesn't discourage it either—as long as your vaccine regimen is complete.

"It is fine to laminate your COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card to preserve it. There has been some question about the possibility of needing to add shots to the back of the card if covid vaccination becomes seasonal similar to the influenza shot. Since this is unknown at this time and given the information we currently have on hand, the DOH does not object to laminating the card to preserve it, " spokeswoman Janice Okubo said in an email. "For those who misplaced or lost their cards, they are advised to contact the place /group where they received their vaccinations to request a replacement card."

At this time, the state Department of Health does not have a database of every person vaccinated against COVID-19 in Hawaii, she said. Records are kept by the providers, and only for the people vaccinated by that particular provider. That's why the department directs individuals needing a replacement card back to wherever the person got the shot. "Vaccinators do keep a record of who they have vaccinated, " she said.

There is a national database, the Vaccination Administration Management System or VAMS, that holds some individual information on COVID-19 vaccination, but not every vaccinated person is registered with this system.

Q : Could you please publicize the fact that there are LOTS of places people can get vaccinated now ? Pier 2 is on the news so some people still think that's the only place to try to make an appointment.

A : The expansion of COVID-19 vaccination through the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program means that there are dozens of Oahu locations where eligible people can make an appointment.

Our search Wednesday using the Center for Disease Control's vaccine finder, , found nearly 50 pharmacy locations on Oahu—including CVS /Longs, Walgreens, Safeway, Sam's Club and Walmart—with appointments open for people who meet the state Department of Health's age, health or occupation restrictions. Choose a location using the online tool and you'll be directed to instructions for making an appointment.

Those 50 are all retail pharmacies. As you indicated, there are other options as well, including the mass-vaccination sites at Pier 2 and Blaisdell Center.

By April 19, President Biden wants all states to lift restrictions limiting access to the COVID-19 vaccine—making appointments available to everyone age 16 or older who wants the shots. Many states have already done so. In Hawaii, the restrictions have been lifted in Maui, Hawaii and Kauai counties, but persist on Oahu (Honolulu County ).

For more information on registering to be vaccinated, see. People 65 and older who need help making an appointment can call 2-1-1 for assistance, rather than trying to navigate the online system on their own.------Write to Kokua Line at Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu 96813 ; call 529-4773 ; fax 529-4750 ; or email kokualine @staradvertiser.com.------