Title: CDC Ends Vaccination Card Distribution and Record-Keeping, Prompting Stricter Enforcement of Fake Card Crackdown
In a recent update, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced that it will no longer be issuing COVID-19 vaccination cards as part of its updated guidance. Furthermore, the agency revealed that it will not be maintaining a national vaccine registry due to privacy concerns. Instead, individuals can now obtain digital or paper copies of their vaccination records by reaching out to their state health department’s immunization information system.
The decision to discontinue the issuance of vaccination cards comes after the CDC reported distributing a staggering 980 million cards between 2020 and May 2023. The purpose of these cards was to serve as proof of vaccination, as many venues, restaurants, and employers were requiring them for entry or employment during the pandemic.
With the elimination of these official cards, concerns have been raised about fraudulent activities. The Justice Department has issued a stern warning, emphasizing that creating and using fake vaccination cards is illegal and punishable under federal law. Local prosecutors have already taken actions against individuals involved in the circulation of counterfeit vaccine records.
Recent cases involving fake vaccination cards have highlighted the severity of the issue. In California, a man faced charges for identity theft and forging government documents. In New Jersey, a woman was accused of selling fake cards on social media platform Instagram, while in New York, a former CVS employee was caught with vaccination cards intended for personal acquaintances.
Responding to these incidents, legislators in New York have responded by enacting stricter penalties for forgery or possession of false immunization records. It is now considered a felony offense punishable under the law.
As the CDC shifts away from vaccine card distribution and record-keeping, it is crucial for individuals to ensure their vaccination records are accurately documented. By contacting their state health department’s immunization information system, individuals can obtain official digital or paper copies of their records.
Moving forward, the lack of a centralized national vaccine registry may pose challenges in verifying vaccination status. However, the agency believes that the responsibility of retaining vaccination records lies with immunization providers who will continue to maintain and safeguard comprehensive records, including those for COVID-19.
In conclusion, while the CDC has ceased issuing vaccination cards and maintaining a national vaccine registry, it remains of utmost importance for individuals to possess valid proof of vaccination. The crackdown on fake vaccination cards, supported by recent legal actions and legislation, serves as a reminder that obtaining and using counterfeit vaccine records will not be tolerated under federal law.