I had been curious about the legal consequences of issuing and using fake covid-19 vaccination cards. I had assumed that it would be at most a violation of state laws and would depend upon what the individual states had decided. But it turns out that it is a federal violation and can thus be prosecuted anywhere in the country. This is because the Centers for Disease Control is a federal agency and the CDC logo is on the cards.
Some people have already fallen afoul of the law, such as a Miami couple who used fake cards to try and circumvent Hawaii’s covid-19 prevention measures.
Enzo Dalmazzo, 43, and Daniela Dalmazzo, 31, were charged with falsifying a vaccine card, with Daniela facing an additional two counts for submitting fake documents for their two children, according to complaints filed by the Hawaii Attorney General’s office.
Court documents show the couple was arrested on Aug. 11 after an airport screener became suspicious about the children’s vaccine cards due to their age. The two kids were born in 2016 and 2017, and are too young to have been inoculated with any of the three vaccines currently approved for emergency use in the U.S.
Full vaccination, however, is not required to visit Hawaii. Travelers can also present a negative COVID-19 test taken 72 hours before a trip.
Violating the state’s COVID-19 mandates, including falsifying a vaccination card, is a misdemeanor that can result in a fine of up to $5,000, up to a year in prison or both.
The couple was cited a total of $8,000 and posted bail. It was the second known case of visitors using fake vaccination cards to bypass quarantine in the last week.
It is astonishing the extent to which some people will go to avoid taking a simple, quick, and free measure that could save their lives and that of their children. And yet, despite going to all that trouble to get fake cards, they did not do the simple checking that would have told them that young children are not being vaccinated yet.
Meanwhile, a pharmacist who was selling fake vaccination cards at $10 each has been arrested.
A Chicago pharmacist has been charged with stealing official COVID-19 vaccination cards and selling them on eBay for roughly $10 each, federal prosecutors say.
Tangtang Zhao, 34, allegedly sold 125 authentic Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) vaccination cards to 11 buyers in March and April.
A black market for blank vaccine cards has cropped up online in recent months, but federal officials say it is illegal to use one if you are unvaccinated. People who receive the COVID-19 vaccine, which is free, are issued a vaccine card.
Each count of theft of government property carries a potential maximum prison sentence of 10 years.
Even if they are willing to commit a crime, some criminals would do well to do a simple risk/reward calculation before embarking on a criminal act. A pharmacist is a well-paying job. This guy was risking losing his job, getting a massive prison sentence, and destroying his life just to sell vaccination cards at a low price on the retail market that would net him a few thousand dollars at most.