- The CDC has told states to remove COVID-19 vaccine card templates to prevent forgery.
- Anti-vaxxer and pro-Trump forums have spread instructions on how to create the cards.
- The FBI has said forging the cards is illegal and it puts others in harm’s way.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has warned states to remove COVID-19 vaccine card templates from their sites as forgery becomes an issue, NBC News reported Thursday.
The CDC said the anti-vaccination community has misused the templates and the health agency has consistently advised states not to post them publicly, NBC reported. The CDC did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment on the matter.
Pro-Trump forums, such as patriots.win, have posted photos and links on how to create a false COVID-19 vaccination card.
NBC News added that other sites, such as 4chan and QAnon and gun forums, have given instructions on how to forge the document as well.
The FBI issued a public statement on March 30 warning people that creating a fake COVID-19 vaccination card is illegal.
“By misrepresenting yourself as vaccinated when entering schools, mass transit, workplaces, gyms, or places of worship, you put yourself and others around you at risk of contracting COVID-19,” the bureau said in the statement.
Read more: ‘Vaccine passports’ are stoking a ridiculous right-wing culture-war panic
The anti-vaccination movement has made the rollout of the COVID-19 immunization more difficult and potentially threatened to slow an end to the pandemic. Misinformation about the vaccine has been rampant, but social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook have vowed to combat it by banning users or removing posts.
“COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective,” the CDC said on its website, adding that the shots were tested in clinical trials on tens of thousands of participants and have since been safely administered to hundreds of millions of people.
So far, about 144 million people in the US have received one or more shots of the vaccine, according to CDC data, meaning about half of Americans are partially vaccinated and a third are fully vaccinated. But demand for the shot has begun to wane, forcing some mass vaccination sites to close, even before the US is short of its herd immunity goal.
To reach herd immunity, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden, has said the country likely would need 70% to 85% of the population to be immunized, but he added that nobody knows for sure what percentage would halt spread of the virus.