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The Washington Post reports federal agents intercepted a package disguised as paper greeting cards. The agency said it was the 15th such shipment that night and inside were “51 low quality, counterfeit COVID-19 vaccination cards.” Border officers in Memphis have made 121 seizures totaling 3,017 of these vaccination cards since the beginning of the year.
According to CBPOs, the cards have blanks for the recipient’s name and birthdate, the vaccine maker, lot number, and date and place the shot was given, as well as the Center for Disease Control logo in the upper right corner. However, there were typos, unfinished words, and some of the Spanish verbiage on the back was misspelled.
“These vaccinations are free and available everywhere,” Michael Neipert, Area Port Director of Memphis, told reporters. “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. CBP Officers at the Area Port of Memphis remain committed to stopping counterfeit smuggling and helping to protect our communities. But just know that when you order a fake vaxx card, you are using my officers time as they also seize fentanyl and methamphetamines.”
On Sunday, New York Senator Chuck Schumer called for a federal crackdown on fake vaccine cards, demanding U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the FBI join forces with Department of Health and Human Services to start a campaign to thwart the counterfeit cards and make clear that they could land people in federal prison, the Associated Press reports.