Experts say fake vaccination cards sold on the dark web are a public health risk

Vaccinate PA

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Your COVID vaccination card is proof you are fully vaccinated. Now, being fully vaccinated means you don’t have to wear a mask in most situations. But scammers are taking advantage by selling fake vaccination cards for people who want benefits without getting the shots.

“Individuals are trying to sell the bogus cards for people to fill in themselves so if people are not vaccinated, they can still have all the privileges of those who are,” John Sancenito, President of INA said.

Law enforcement is monitoring the dark web and social media, trying to get the sites blocked, but the cards are very easy to create.

“They’re not very sophisticated cards, they’re very simple, the logos of the CDC are available elsewhere, they’re easily manufactured and easily counterfeited,” Sancenito said.

Talks of issuing vaccine passports have been met with a lot of resistance.

“That would have been an official document issued by the government that would have been much harder to counterfeit,” Sancenito said.

However, both paper and digital have their faults.

“We have to get away from paper. I hate to say it, but we have to go to digital, which causes other equitable situations because not everyone has access to the internet,” Dr. Michael Seavers, Assistant Professor of Healthcare Informatics at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology said.

“Looking at the broader public health consequences of this, we know we’re in a situation where being vaccinated protects you but it also protects people in our community,” Dr. Emily Largent, Assistant Professor of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania said.

However, not everyone can get the vaccine.

“Immunocompromised people, for example, really rely on us as a community to come together and protect them through herd immunity,” Largent said.

Experts also warn not to post a picture of your vaccine card on social media. It’s another way for scammers to get personal information they can use to exploit you.

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