"Truth in Vaccination" Bill Protecting Vaxx Records From Fraud Passes NY State Senate

Legislation by Kaplan and Fahy would make it a crime to forge phony COVID-19 vaccination cards or vaccine passports

Cases of COVID vaccination record fraud have already been reported across NY, and anti-vaxx web forums are spreading tips for how to create fake cards

CARLE PLACE, NY (June 3, 2021) - Today, the New York State Senate passed legislation by State Senator Anna M. Kaplan (D-North Hills) and Assemblymember Patricia Fahy (D-Albany), S.4516B, that would make the falsification of COVID-19 vaccination records a crime. The bill passed at a critical time in the state's vaccination rollout and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, where officials are working diligently to ensure as many New Yorkers get vaccinated against COVID-19 as possible.

Bill sponsor Senator Anna M. Kaplan said "we're using vaccine cards and passports to make everything safer from baseball to Broadway, but the system relies on individuals being truthful about their vaccination status in order to keep everyone safe. We're already seeing anti-vaxxers spread tips online for how to create fake cards in order to get around vaccination mandates, and we need to put a stop to this effort to defraud the public so that our recovery from the pandemic can keep moving forward."

"I’m proud to sponsor this bill with Senator Anna Kaplan to further protect the public’s health even in a post-pandemic world,” said Assemblymember Patricia Fahy. “Those who seek to put our progress in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic at risk by fraudulently or otherwise altering proof of their immunizations pose a risk to individuals still at-risk of severe illness from COVID-19. This bill provides a strong deterrent to those who seek to game the system and send a message that New York State will not tolerate it.”

The bill, S.4516, will:

  • Make it a crime to create a fraudulent COVID-19 vaccination card by amending the legal definition of a "written instrument" to explicitly include a card provided to a person by a vaccine provider indicating the date a person received vaccination against COVID-19 as well as the type of vaccine and its lot number.
  • Make it a crime to create a fraudulent COVID-19 Vaccination Passport by amending the penal law to create a crime of intentionally altering computer material to indicate that a person received a vaccination against COVID-19.

The bill passed the State Senate by a vote of 47 to 16 and now goes to the State Assembly for consideration.