The United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has made it a crime to have counterfeit vaccination cards, as 45 attorney generals across the country are worried they could prolong the devastation of the coronavirus pandemic.
“We know people have been selling face vaccine cards,” North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein said. He argued the crime would increase the threat of the COVID-19 virus and make the pandemic last longer than anticipated.
Fake Vaccine Cards
Stein wrote a letter to the CEOs of Twitter, eBay, and Shopify, to respond until Friday about what steps they would take next. “Take immediate action to prevent your platforms from being used as a vehicle to commit these fraudulent and deceptive acts,” he said.
The attorney general believes the black market dealings of fake vaccine cards could lead to a wider implementation of vaccine passports. “I expect there will be some form of digital signature,” Stein said.
Experts believe the emergence of a digital vaccine passport has become more relevant in recent weeks. On April 15, California will begin allowing theater performances and indoor concerts to resume operations alongside other private gatherings.
“It will likely need to be both paper and digital for the reasons you mentioned, not everyone has digital access,” Infectious Disease Expert Dr. Malcolm John of the University of California, San Francisco said.
California Director of Public Health Tomas Aragon discussed the state’s position regarding vaccine passports during a call interview with reporters. “We will see what the federal government comes out with. We are also planning to make sure that we come out with if they don’t move fast enough with technical stands of what we expect,” he said.
At least eight airlines across the region are not waiting for states to begin implementing the digital certificate. CEO of Common Project, Paul Meyer, was confident of their digital being protected against fraud.
“The way that the data is digitized. Basically, take the record of that vaccination and put it in ‘A’s’ effectively a digital envelope,” Meyer said, ABC7 News reported.
President Joe Biden’s administration had previously made it clear they gave state officials and private sectors the authority to implement vaccine passports. The FBI is asking the public to avoid posting photos of their vaccine card on any online platform to avoid having their personal information stolen.