Bill would make possessing, manufacturing counterfeit vaccine cards illegal in New Jersey

New Jersey will not currently require a COVID-19 vaccine passport, but the state plans to crack down on fake vaccine cards.

News 12 Staff

May 13, 2021, 9:45 PM

Updated 1,102 days ago

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New Jersey will not currently require a COVID-19 vaccine passport, but the state plans to crack down on fake vaccine cards. But the question remains – how will someone prove that they have been fully vaccinated against the virus?
“This is a new world so we’re going to take it one step at a time as to what we do,” says state Sen. Nick Scutari.
The FBI and CDC say that fake COVID-19 vaccination cards are a growing problem. Under a new bill in the New Jersey Legislature, creating a fake COVID vaccine card will become a crime punishable by up to 5-10 years in prison.
“Some people just aren’t interested in getting the vaccine, but they want to go to a particular venue that’s going to require it,” says Scutari.
Venues like Yankee Stadium in the Bronx to nursing homes in New Jersey will now let fully vaccinated people sit without social distancing, creating a motive to get a fake vaccine card.
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“Anybody with a laser printer and some bit of technical expertise could probably manufacture a pretty decent counterfeit,” says Scutari.
News 12 New Jersey was able to find blank vaccine cards online that could be easily printed.
The New Jersey Department of Health said in a statement, "Vaccination sites in New Jersey use the CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card. The provider generates the vaccine card; the Health Department does not issue them."
But for official records like college admissions and employers, the Department of Health operates the New Jersey Immunization Information System, where one can log in and get an official record of their vaccination.
Despite all this, Gov. Murphy questions the need for an official vaccination passport, even a voluntary one like in New York state.
“I think you’ve got to be very careful about this. I’m open-minded…It’s not a dead letter for me, but I think we need to be really careful,” Murphy said.
Scutari's bill would set separate penalties for those who buy fake vaccine cards. Simply possessing one would be punishable by up to 18 months in prison, and a fine of up to $10,000.


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