Customs seized more than 3,000 counterfeit vaccine cards in Alaska

Customs seized more than 3,000 counterfeit vaccine cards in Alaska
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced this week that officers in Anchorage, Alaska, seized more than 3,000 counterfeit vaccine cards arriving from China, according to a press release.

The vaccine cards sought to mirror those distributed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) after a person receives their full regimen of the coronavirus vaccine. However, CBP stated that the cards were of "low quality printing." 

“Getting these fraudulent cards off the streets and out of the hands of those who would then sell them is important for the safety of the American public,” said Area Port Director Lance Robinson. “Looking out for the welfare of our fellow Alaskans is one of the many and varied responsibilities CBP is proud to take on.”  

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The shipment was reportedly the largest recent shipment to be discovered by CBP, according to The Washington Post.

Thousands of counterfeit vaccine cards were seized by CBP officers in Memphis, Tenn., earlier this month. 

The increase in counterfeit vaccination cards come as localities and businesses across the U.S. have mandated individuals show proof of vaccine to work, engage in outdoor activities and even partake in concerts. 

An Austin music festival announced Thursday that it will require attendees to show proof of vaccination upon entrance. If they are not vaccinated, they must show proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours before attending the event.  

These new requirements were prompted by the spread of the delta variant, which has spread rapidly across the U.S. in recent weeks. The strain is highly contagious and has proven to break through COVID-19 vaccines. However, the majority of people with breakthrough cases have reported mild symptoms. 

CBP officers are urging residents not to buy falsified vaccine cards, and doing so can result in a fine and five years in prison.

“If you do not wish to receive a vaccine, that is your decision," Area Port Director of Memphis Michael Neipert said last week. "But don’t order a counterfeit, waste my officer’s time, break the law, and misrepresent yourself."