People who falsify their vaccination cards to bypass the passport system in the state of New York could face up to one year in jail, according to new legislation.
Signed into law on Wednesday by Gov. Kathy Hochul (D), the “Truth in Vaccination” law will make “faking a vaccination card a class A misdemeanor and tampering with computer records related to vaccinations a class E felony,” according to The Hill.
New Yorkers convicted of violating the new law could face up to one year in prison or three years of probation, while class E felonies carry the potential of up to four years in prison in the state.
In a statement, Hochul declared that the new law will:
…help us improve our response to the pandemic now, crack down on fraudulent use of vaccination records, and help us better understand the areas of improvement we need to make to our health care system so we can be even more prepared down the road.
“We need to make sure we learn the lessons of the pandemic so we don’t make the same mistakes twice,” the governor asserted.
Various New York lawmakers shared Hochul’s enthusiasm for the new law, hailing it as a necessary step in the fight against the omicron variant.
“It’s never been more urgent that we protect this process from fraud so that the health and safety of the public isn’t compromised by bad actors using fraudulent vaccination cards or passports,” said State Senator Anna Kaplan.
“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 added.
“This new law will undoubtedly help prosecutors and other law enforcement hold people accountable for the damage they are doing to public health by undermining the efficacy of vaccination requirements,” said Assemblymember Jeffrey Dinowitz.
Earlier this month, a South Carolina nurse was indicted for allegedly forging false vaccination cards and faces up to 15 years in prison.