More and more colleges and universities now mandate proof of COVID-19 vaccination for their students to attend in-person education, with the delta variant continuing to pose a threat to the United States.
But this has opened an opportunity for a cottage industry to emerge online for those who refuse to be vaccinated, citing religious or personal reasons.
For a $25, one can avail of a vaccination card through an Instagram account using the name “vaccinationcards”. The same can also be acquired through Telegram users which offers “COVID-19 Vaccine Cards Certificates” that cost as much as $200 per piece.
These sites seem to entertain more inquiries for fake vaccination cards for college.
“I need one, too, for college. I refuse to be a guinea pig,” one Reddit user said in a thread discussing false vaccination cards.
The Chronicle of Higher Education’s tally said some 675 colleges and universities made vaccination proof mandatory.
Several schools accept photos of vaccination cards from students through a portal.
Employees and students are checked in at the University of Michigan for vaccination. In an interview with The Associated Press, the university’s spokesperson said that they have not traced any students faking their vaccination cards for admission.
The verification of education institutions on the vaccination records, however, is questionable, said Benjamin Mason Meier, a global health policy professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
“The United States, unlike most countries which have electronic systems in place, is basing its vaccination on a flimsy paper card,” he noted, as reported by KRON4. “There need to be policies in place for accountability to make sure that every student is operating in the collective interest of the entire campus.″
The UNC, in a statement to AP, warned that forging documents like vaccination records defies the standards of the university and violators can be subjected to disciplinary action. It assured that the university is doing periodic verification and that it had not recorded any case of students using fake vaccination records.