If You Fake Your Vaccine Card For Travel, Be Sure To Spell “Pfizer” or “Moderna’ Correctly

When I got my vaccine shot, the folks who administered it hand wrote on my CDC vaccination record. I noticed that they wrote my date of birth wrong on the card, so I got them to replace the card. (First they just wanted to scratch over the incorrect birth date and write in the correct one.) They did not, however, go back to check that the date I gave them matched my drivers license, and they did not go back into any records to make sure it was entered correctly in the state (or health insurance) system.

I suspect there are errors on CDC vaccine cards all over the country. But this woman had an error on her fake vaccination card, and that helped lead to her arrest after using it to avoid quarantine on arrival in Hawaii.

Hawaii can’t be credited for noticing the misspelling of Moderna all on their own. It turns out that someone narced her out. And that’s what led to an investigation, where the state learned that the hotel she listed for her stay – Holiday Inn Express Waikiki – had no record of her. She also listed her shots as being administered in Delaware, but when the state checked Delaware said they had no record of her vaccination.

There was more or less nothing they could do until she was ready to leave the state. Quarantine Compliance Check officers apepared at the Southwest Airlines check-in counter for her trip back to the mainland, where she was arrested.

If you’re a drug dealer with narcotics in your car, you want to maintain the vehicle perfectly (no busted tail lights) and drive a mile or two under the speed limit. There’s no sense in getting busted of a traffic infraction. Probable cause aside, you’d think driving perfectly would arouse even greater suspicion (Cf. ‘stop and frisk’).

Similarly if you’re faking a CDC vaccination card, you want to make sure to get all of the little details right. Many legitimate cards probably have mistakes, but why draw more attention to yourself?

U.S. vaccination cards are super easy to fake. You can print one off the internet. You just need to have access to someone’s real card to know what weight paper to procure. Vaccination records exist in various state databases across the country but those don’t really speak to each other. That’s kept any vaccine passport system limited to state-level issuance, and foreign countries accepting vaccinated Americans have been accepting CDC cards (or other records that effectively just acknowledge CDC cards). Health insurers could provide vaccination records based on their payouts, but that’s only helpful for those who submitted insurance.

Ultimately though fake vaccination cards simply mean that a small number of people ‘slip through’ and that only matters where true containment policies remain in effect – countries that still have zero Covid goals, largely in Asia. The problem of fake cards means that most people will still be vaccinated, so the chance of spreading the virus is greatly reduced compared to no vaccination requirement at all. it’s still not zero even with everyone vaccinated anyway.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I knew about the CDC cards’ vulnerability to forgery when I got my jabs. I made a point of getting a state vaccination record from my county health department when I got my last one.

  2. So I guess the person who misspelled Pfizer on my card, when I actually got the vaccine, is going to get me arrested for forgery now. Great.

  3. The CDC vaccination card was designed as a simple means for an individual to keep the vaccination record and have something to show to your doctor. It was not designed for anything else like entering Hawaii or a restaurant in NY. Nowadays, kids on College campuses can easily and cheaply acquire fake IDs to buy alcohol when underage and those IDs are a bit more difficult to forge vs. CDC cards. We now have Federal Real ID program and you now how quickly it is going. I think it would equally effective to ask the individuals to sign a piece of paper that they are vaccinated when entering Hawaii (and tell them about penalties for misrepresentation) rather then to upload a silly vaccination card. This would be the same protocol as voting in elections when no IDs are required.

  4. Would have been far less effort for her to have gotten a vaccination. But, as the colleague in the office next to mine (a former prosecutor) would, say, “They catch the stupid ones.”

  5. My Minnesota card was given to me without any personal information at all, which I then filled in. But all this reminds me of an email my wife got offering her online degrees at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels. All three were misspelled.

  6. Shut the hell up Gary!! Don’t even joke about this shit. This has real life or death consequences. Idiot!!

  7. Hey, at least they let her enjoy her vacation before arresting her.

    JohnnieD, you got it right about calling the whole thing off.

  8. gravelly – we are all dumber by reading your post. go back into your basement and administer a chill pill

  9. She is forever untrustworthy. Cheating in life is usually not a one-time thing. Her academic record, her resume, her taxes, etc. are those counterfeit too?

  10. @Gravelly Point Guy:


    They fully brainwashed YOU, didn’t they? The less intelligent ones are easier….. I hope the Kool Aid at least tasted good.

    What a maroon…..

  11. If you find yourself calling someone a “maroon” (even Bugs Bunny would have gotten his Viral Hemorrhagic Disease vaccine for rabbits) then you probably don’t perceive Covid-19 a real threat. Gravelly Point Guy has made a justifiable and defendable point. Faking a vaccination record card endangers public safety. These vaccinations are free and available everywhere. Why break the law ? Conspiracy theory believers are the followers, not leaders. Also, Jim Jones was too cheap to buy the real stuff. “drink the Kool-Aid” was figure of speech but is regarded as a factual error. It was Flavor Aid

  12. I had my vaccine shots at Walgreens and they gave me a photocopied paper that says Walgreens COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card. It is beyond cheesy and looks nothing like the small CDC card everyone has. They also spelled my name wrong. Also, Walgreens forgot to enter my first shot so the CA digital vaccine passport database has my second shot as my first shot and myturn.ca.gov kept texting me to get my second shot. I am volunteering as medical staff at the Greek Theatre in Berkley this weekend and they require all volunteers, staff, and patrons to download the Clear app and go through the process to connect your vaccine info. They connected the info by me logging into Walgreens through Clear and it pulls the info. You can’t fake that and it is the only database out there that shows my correct info. The Greek Theatre will not accept any vaccine cards. Everyone must show the vaccine info through the Clear app and if you cannot show it they will not let you in. I feel like every company that requires proof should use this method.

  13. “If you’re a drug dealer with narcotics in your car, you want to maintain the vehicle perfectly (no busted tail lights) and drive a mile or two under the speed limit.”

    In Texas, a friend of mine was told by a sheriff…
    drug dealer are often in a hurry to transport their drugs. They often drive over the speed limit.
    Drug dealers (are just like the above quote) are often afraid of tickets. They often drive below the speed limit.
    Drug dealers don’t want to get caught so they follow other laws precisely. The often drive exactly at the speed limit.

    My friend had to bite his tongue to prevent laughter.

    As far as vaccines, it may soon be unimportant. Today, the news talks about the Mu variant. Vaccines don’t help with Mu but so far 0.2%, less than 1%, of people have Mu. In Colombia and Ecuador, it’s higher.

  14. @4u2Know

    That deserves not just a LOL, but a ROTFLMFAO!!!!!!

    Get bent, you Kool-Aid drinking loser. Sooner or later even dum-dums like YOU will realize the game that’s being played on the World. So don’t give up hope.


  15. 1) It costs less to actually get vaccinated that to buy a fake vaccination card in most of the world

    2) The only reason to have such a card is if you choose not to vaccinated and are trying to deceive others

    I’ll be honest. If you chose to go bareback through the pandemic that’s on you. I’m of the mindset that health providers effective a certain date should say hospital bills for unvaccinated are not covered if they get COVID and refused vaccination

  16. To Derek: The media will report anything as long as you click so they get paid. The stories about new vaccine-escaping variants are highly clickable. I did not look much into details but I am still considering traveling to Cartagena. Surprisingly, Covid cases are way down in Columbia. But I also agree that the current vaccines are likely to become irrelevant very soon because Sars Cov-2 is an RNA virus and, thus, it mutates quickly. The final way out is still likely to be the natural immunity – check the recent article that starts with “Having SARS-CoV-2 once confers much greater immunity than a vaccine” in Science.

  17. Conspiracy theorists are grounded in the emotional processes and are the follower, not the leader. For example:” LOL, ROTFLMFAO!!!!!!, Kool-Aid drinking loser, dum-dums like YOU ”
    The higher the education, the lower conspiracy beliefs. There is a tendency among the less educated to attribute a threat where it does not exist or where there actually does exist a threat, they do not heed the warnings or the science.

  18. @4u2Know:

    LOL! You’re believing all the bullshit being spoon-fed to you and I’M the conspiracy theorist?! Hey… I have a bridge I can sell you… CHEAP!

    And I wouldn’t consider having earned four degrees to be “less educated”. Loser.

  19. There are any number of reasons people have CHOSEN not to take the jab. Are those of you who have been quick to judge this woman considered t(at perhaps she has a medical condition (such as pregnancy) that makes it unwise to get the jab.
    As for misspelling the two drug companies, if you can spell stick with J&J.
    BTW, even those who write for living make mistakes, right Gary?
    “she apepared at the Southwest Airlines check in counter”

  20. Please, more about this so called “bullshit” we are “believing” and who exactly is doing the “spoon-feeding”? To “believe” in scientific fact, does not make one a loser.

  21. @One Trippe

    Speculate all you want. We are not quick to “Judge” this woman. She is what she is. We have been living a nightmare of Americans for MONTHS who have every access to a free “jab” but simply REFUSE to take the vaccine for reasons other than medical conditions and have returned us to this Covid-19 situation that could have been fully prevented after the vaccine was available to all. If she “perhaps” had a medical condition or was pregnant, as you suggest, she would not have been arrested and would not have received publicity in the news as she has or we would have heard otherwise. Her “chosen” method of not being vaccinated and “choosing” to board a plane with a fake vaccination record card is a crime and endangers everyone else.

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