"Customers were looking for ways to protect their Covid-19 vaccine cards knowing they were likely to be important in the future," said Craig Grayson, vice president of printing and marketing services at Staples, in an email on Wednesday. "Leveraging our existing in-store functionality seemed like a natural way to provide a free solution."
Until July 25, customers can also have their finished vaccination cards laminated free of charge in Office Depot and OfficeMax stores across the country using the code 52516714.
Dr. Ikediobi also recommends keeping the card in a safe place like your passport instead of carrying it around with you. "It doesn't always have to be with you," she said.
Do I need my card to travel?
In some cases, yes. Some destinations and cruise lines require travelers to be fully vaccinated prior to travel. Starting March 26, Americans who are fully vaccinated and able to show proof of vaccination will be able to visit Iceland and avoid border measures like testing and quarantine, according to the country's government.
The Royal Caribbean cruise line requires passengers and crew members 18 and older to be vaccinated to board their ships, as does Virgin Voyages, Crystal Cruises, and others. These companies will resume cruise operations in the spring and summer. Neither company has yet operated cruises in ports in the United States, as the C.D.C. has not yet given them the guidelines to follow.
Currently, airlines do not require vaccinations to travel. But the idea was talked about a lot in the industry. In an interview with NBC Nightly News, Ed Bastian, Delta Air Lines' chief executive officer, said that proof of vaccination will likely be required on international flights. However, it is unclear whether this is a paper certificate or a digital vaccination record.
Does New York need a vaccination certificate?
Governor Andrew Cuomo last week announced the launch of Excelsior Pass, a free app that companies can use to scan a code to confirm whether someone has been vaccinated or tested negative for the coronavirus. To enroll, New York residents should visit the Excelsior Pass website, where they will be asked to enter their name, date of birth, and zip code. A passport – a QR code that companies can scan – is automatically generated using data from government vaccination records or test laboratory data.