White House warns 'it's a crime' to fake COVID-19 vaccination cards

White House COVID-19 response coordinator also says the Inspector General of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is 'investigating' fake vaccination card 'schemes.'
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Jeffrey Zients
Jeffrey Zients at White House
(Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

Jeff Zients, White House COVID-19 response coordinator, warned on Thursday that faking a COVID-19 vaccination card is a "crime," adding the Inspector General at the Department of Health and Human Services is launching an investigation into "these schemes."

"We are aware of some cases of fraud or counterfeit COVID-19 cards being advertised on social media sites and e-commerce platforms, while the practice is not widespread," Zients said during a COVID-19 White House virtual briefing on Thursday. "I will remind everyone that it's a crime and Office of the Inspector General at the Department of Health and Human Services is investigating these schemes."

The FBI has said anyone buying or selling fake vaccine passports could face penalties.

Zients also said the federal government has no plans to store an individual's vaccination information in a database.

"There will be no federal vaccination database. As with all other vaccines, the information gets held at the state and local level," he said. "But any system that is developed in the private sector or elsewhere must meet key standards, including affordability, being available both digitally and on paper and importantly, protecting people's privacy and security."