MAGA, Anti-Vaxxers Making Fake Vaccine ID Cards Instead Of Getting Vaccinated
Official vaccine ID cards distributed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have been handed out to more than 140 million Americans who have already received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccination, opening up a discussion about where those ID cards will have to be presented. Employers are mulling over requiring their workers to be vaccinated before they can return to work, and at least seven major universities already have plans in place to ask students to be vaccinated before attending this fall and prove it by presenting their ID cards.
The Biden administration has declared it wouldn’t create a federal vaccination database, citing privacy concerns, paving the way for the cards to become the country’s default national way to verify if someone has been vaccinated. However, since the cards are marked by hand, don’t contain much information, are printed on easily obtainable heavy white paper, and are impossible to quickly verify, it leaves an opportunity for the anti-vaccine community to beat the system by sharing directions on how to forge them.
Now, pro-Trump and anti-vaccination forums throughout the internet in recent weeks are sharing specific directions showing how to forge Covid-19 vaccination cards as users have exploited a largely makeshift verification system while pushing baseless vaccine conspiracies.
can we just reflect on the fact that there are people buying fake vaccination cards so they can travel, but they’re the same people that frown upon undocumented immigrants that get fake documents to work & provide for their families
— annette 🦋 (@aggonzalez03) April 28, 2021
On conspiracy and anti-government forums throughout the web, users have linked to card templates that were left visible on the websites of state governments, including high-resolution PDFs from the websites of both the Wyoming and Missouri health departments. The CDC has since delivered guidance to states to pull the templates from their sites, citing “misuse” by the anti-vaccine community, according to state officials.
In March, the FBI released a public warning that creating or buying a fake vaccine card is illegal. That obviously hasn’t stopped it from becoming more widespread, causing concern amongst the healthcare community as well as the public at large.
I'm still gonna wear my mask even after I get the second dose. If people can make fake vaccination cards, they're for sure gonna lie about being fully vaccinated. https://t.co/houPA8IYoY
— Angie ‘Show Up & Win’ (@LGDIB) April 27, 2021
One alternative to the paper cards is allowing vaccine distributors, such as state governments and pharmacies, to print official cards with more built-in safeguards, more akin to a driver’s license. But that requires longer-term planning and comes with more risk of security breaches.
Fake IDs are just the latest scam that’s grown out of the COVID19 pandemic.
The schemes range from fraudsters selling fake hand sanitizer and vaccination cards online to con artists stealing individuals' personal information while pretending to help them set up funeral arrangements. https://t.co/k0eMLPcVkP
— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) April 29, 2021
Polling has shown vaccine hesitancy is most prevalent among Republican men, with one Monmouth University poll from April 14th showing 43 percent of Republicans saying they would never receive the shot.