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Authorities warn against buying fake COVID-19 vaccine cards

Facebook page advertising blank covid-19 vaccination cards, available through messenger.
Facebook page advertising blank covid-19 vaccination cards, available through messenger.(WHSV)
Published: Sep. 7, 2021 at 5:39 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 7, 2021 at 5:54 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) - With some concert venues and theatres starting to introduce vaccine mandates, some people are starting to get ads for fake vaccine cards or negative test results online.

Fake vaccination cards could be bad for public health, but they could also be bad for your future, the Federal Trade Commission said.

The FTC says falsifying documents is illegal, and anyone caught doing so could be fined or go to jail. They also say you shouldn’t share personal information with people you don’t know.

Finally, they say the only way to prove you’ve tested negative or been vaccinated is to test negative or get vaccinated.

Dr. Julia Murphy with the Virginia Department of Health says the presence of these falsified documents is very concerning.

“The community is counting on you and your immunity to help protect not only yourself, but please remember, those around you,” Murphy said.

She says current health guidelines, like mask and vaccine requirements, are in place for a reason.

“If you get infected and you present yourself as being vaccinated, others around you may not take the kinds of precautions that they otherwise would need to,” Murphy said.

Health experts warn that anyone not vaccinated shouldn’t travel during the current surge of infection, so some are looking to buy fake cards at any price, but Murphy says there’s no need.

“Vaccinations are free and freely available, and vaccination is critical to ending the COVID-19 pandemic,” she said.

Experts say you should report fake vaccination cards to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or to the FBI.

The department says soon, digital QR codes will be available for anyone needing to verify their vaccination status. They didn’t have an exact date for the launch, but hope to see it up by next week.

As of September 7, VDH says 66% of Virginians are vaccinated, and 75% have at least one dose. To find a vaccine near you, visit the state health department’s website.

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