There’s no government mandate to get vaccinated against COVID-19. It’s perfectly legal not to get the shot. But if you are unvaccinated, you might find yourself unable to do certain things you used to enjoy, or need to do for your livelihood.
Restaurants, theaters, workplaces and other businesses and institutions are increasingly are requiring people to show proof of vaccination, or a recent negative COVID-19 test. And those requirements have led some folks who don’t want the vaccine to take the less-than-legal step of ordering fake COVID-19 vaccination record online.
Falsifying vaccination records is a federal crime.
Kevin Krause, federal courts reporter for The Dallas Morning News, told the Texas Standard about a soldier who was arrested in a Fort Worth hotel for selling a counterfeit COVID record. Keishaun Edward Todd sold an undercover agent the card for $150, according to court records. He had over 80 of the cards with him, some of which were already filled out with personal details.
“It’s quite a big black market that’s developed,” said Krause. “And people would rather pay than get vaccinated … for free.”
Wide proliferation of the fake cards could have significant public health impacts.
“If people are going out in public to, say, concerts or other venues where there’s people everywhere … and if they’re not vaccinated, they’re absolutely subjecting people to harm,” Krause said. “If [other attendees] believe that they are vaccinated, they won’t be taking any precautions around them. So it’s potentially very dangerous, which is why the feds were saying that they are going to be investigating all these cases and prosecuting them to the fullest.”