Federal officials this week warned that it is “a crime” to falsify COVID-19 vaccination cards amid new restrictions handed down by several major cities.
“We are aware of some cases of fraud or counterfeit COVID-19 cards being advertised on social media sites and e-commerce platforms, while the practice is not widespread,” White House COVID-19 coordinator Jeff Zients said during a COVID-19 White House virtual briefing.
Zients added that “it’s a crime,” and that the “Office of the Inspector General at the Department of Health and Human Services is investigating these schemes.”
Previously, the FBI and other federal agencies said anyone who is buying or selling fake vaccine cards could face penalties.
On Thursday, Zients said that the federal government is not planning to create a centralized database that holds individuals’ vaccination records.
“There will be no federal vaccination database. As with all other vaccines, the information gets held at the state and local level,” he said. “But any system that is developed in the private sector or elsewhere must meet key standards, including affordability, being available both digitally and on paper and importantly, protecting people’s privacy and security.”