New York threatens prison time for faking vaccination
Falsifying Covid-19 vaccination documents can now land New Yorkers in prison, as Governor Kathy Hochul attempts to crack down on the illegal practice with new legislation.
Hochul signed off on a measure to make falsification of Covid-19 records a felony crime on Wednesday, warning that residents who “misrepresent” their vaccination status “not only jeopardize their own health, but the health of all those they come into contact with.”
“This legislation ensures that as New York opens up and many businesses choose to rely on checking vaccination status, the falsification of vaccination records will not be tolerated,” she said in a statement.
A proof-of-vaccination card will now be considered “a written instrument for purposes of the forgery statute which makes the falsification of COVID-19 Vaccination Cards a class D felony” – or punishable by up to a year in prison.
Tampering with vaccination records on a computer database will also now be considered a class E felony and punishable by up to four years behind bars.
New York State Senator Anna Kaplan praised the new punishments, claiming it has “never been more urgent” to protect the public from “bad actors using fraudulent vaccination cards or passports.”
“The 'Truth in Vaccination' law will serve as a strong deterrent to prevent people from lying about their vaccination status, protecting public health, and ensuring our economic recovery can move forward,” she concluded.
Over 32,800,000 Covid-19 vaccine doses have been administered in the state of New York. Ninety-five percent of New Yorkers have received at least one dose, while 82.5% have received two doses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).