The U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in Memphis, Tennessee, said it captures hundreds of falsified COVID-19 vaccine cards daily.
So far this fiscal year, Border Patrol personnel have discovered 121 fraudulent vaccination cards, totaling 3,017 false cards, the agency said in a Friday, August 13, statement.
The agency confirmed it found the cards “always” originated from China and would come in packs of between 20 to 50 and 100 cards without “any attempts to conceal them in anything.”
The counterfeit cards feature the logo of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and blank lines for filling in information such as names and dates of vaccinations.
They still have obvious traits of a falsified document, such as typos and misspelled Spanish wording on the back and that they were imported by a non-CDC or medical entity.
The recipients of these cards were said to be all over the U.S.
“These vaccinations are free and available everywhere,” said Michael Neipert, Area Port Director of Memphis, adding that the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) already had other burdens to tackle in addition to this new illegal shipment.
“CBP Officers at the Area Port of Memphis remain committed to stopping counterfeit smuggling and helping to protect our communities,” he said. “But just know that when you order a fake vaxx card, you are using my officer’s time as they also seize fentanyl and methamphetamines.”
According to the FBI, using or commercializing counterfeit vaccine cards equates to unlawful use of a government agency seal (such as HHS or CDC), which could result in a potential fine and up to five years in prison.
“These vaccinations are free and available everywhere,” Neibert said. “If you do not wish to receive a vaccine, that is your decision. But don’t order a counterfeit, waste my officer’s time, break the law, and misrepresent yourself.”
After more reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggest how more contagious and lethal the Delta variant could be compared to the original virus that struck the world last year, the White House and other officials had begun increasing their demand that people get the jab.
In several places across the U.S, vaccination has become mandatory. People would either lose their employment and be refused public services such as restaurants, theaters, and other indoor enterprises without a vaccine card.
While the experimental vaccines were said to be effective in preventing severe illnesses and deaths, especially with the more dangerous Delta variant of COVID-19, not all people are prepared to accept the jabs.
The reasons for rejecting them vary from religious beliefs, medical complications, and uncertainties about side effects from the vaccines, to a resistence to having their freedom of choice taken away.