Falsifying Covid Vaccination Cards is a State Crime Now
When the pandemic started, no one ever imagined that we’d have a treatment for it soon, let alone faking Covid vaccination cards. And, yet, here we are. Making, selling or buying fake COVID-19 vaccination cards is now a federal crime. This legislation comes after Governor Kathy Hochul signed a new law on Wednesday.
According to this statute, forging COVID vaccination cards is now considered a class A misdemeanor in New York. Tampering with computer records related to vaccinations is also a class E felony.
What the Bill States
The bill states that “a COVID Vaccination Card shall be considered a written instrument for purposes of the forgery statute.” As a result, falsifying one becomes a crime punishable by law. It can land you in jail for up to a year, or you might have to complete a three years’ probation period.
According to a statement from the governor’s office, computer tampering in the third degree for “intentional entering, alteration or destruction of ‘computer material’ regarding COVID-19 vaccine provisions” is also a crime.
These are class E felonies and can be punishable with up to four years in prison.
State senator Anna M. Kaplan recently said that “The ‘Truth in Vaccination Law’ will serve as a strong deterrent to prevent people from lying about their vaccination status, protecting public health, and ensuring our economic recovery can move forward.”
There’s no doubt about the fact that people can purchase fake COVID vaccination cards online for hundreds of dollars. Several individuals have also been arrested due to this.
Making this a state crime means that authorities can directly take legal action against a culprit. Due to this, federal law enforcement doesn’t need to handle the case. It also allows schools to access a statewide vaccination database. More cities are also reinforcing stricter rules about vaccination proof amid the omicron surge.
Final Thoughts – Biden’s Take on Vaccinations
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention hands out COVID vaccination cards to providers. In turn, they fill them out for immunized individuals. Several mobile apps also allow you to show your vaccination status. So, you don’t have to carry a physical card.
CDC reports tell us that around 77% of people aged five or more have had at least one COVID-19 vaccination in the US. Due to the recent rise in COVID cases driven by the Omicron variant, President Joe Biden called it a “patriotic duty” for citizens to get immunized, including booster shots.