Last month, Mayor Bill de Blasio said that the city’s more than 300,000 employees would have to get vaccinated or undergo weekly testing, prompting some pushback from unions, which are now in negotiations with the mayor’s office over the details of implementation.
Law enforcement officials have done what they can to crack down on fraud. Earlier this month, a Chicago-based pharmacist was arrested by federal agents and charged with the sale of 125 vaccination cards to 11 different buyers on eBay. The previous month, a naturopathic doctor in California was charged with a scheme to falsely record her customers as having received the Moderna vaccine.
New York’s Legislature recently passed a bill that would make it a state crime to falsify vaccination records. In an interview, State Senator Todd Kaminsky, one of the bill’s sponsors, said that counterfeit vaccine cards represented a growing threat.
“It was good foresight on our part to recognize that there were going to be those who would forge vaccine cards and create a public health danger,” he said.
@Tizzyent, the TikTok user who made a video about Ms. Clifford’s scheme this month, is an independent filmmaker in Florida who asked that he only be identified by his first name, Michael, because he had received threats for his videos in the past. He said in an interview that he had been fighting misinformation on social platforms for more than a year.
“It’s something that’s just a pet peeve,” he said.
He said that he had been alerted to a number of people selling counterfeit vaccine cards on social media, but that the @AntiVaxMomma scheme, for which she appeared to be recruiting collaborators when he stumbled upon one of her posts, seemed particularly advanced.
“A couple of days ago, a good friend of mine passed away from Covid,” he said. “When I see someone offering a workaround like this that’s putting everyone at risk, it’s horrifying to me.”
Chelsia Rose Marcius contributed reporting.