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A healthcare worker holds a Covid-19 vaccination card during an event hosted by the Miami Heat at the FTX Arena in Miami on Thursday, Aug. 5. Photo: Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Proof-of-vaccination requirements in the United States and Europe have spurred a new market for counterfeit certificates, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The big picture: Illegitimate vaccine cards have multiplied on social-media sites, messaging apps and on the dark web in recent weeks, per The Wall Street Journal.

  • "As a segment of the population tries to avoid the new measures, the dark net reacts to the real market and thus demand gives birth to offers," Dmitry Galov, a researcher at cybersecurity firm Kaspersky, told the WSJ.

Driving the news: In the United States, fake vaccine cards have emerged on Amazon, eBay and Etsy, per the WSJ.

  • Individuals have also been arrested for selling fake vaccination cards in person, including in California, where a bar owner was arrested for allegedly charging $2o for counterfeit vaccination cards, per the WSJ.
  • The vaccination card issued in the United States, which is a small white card issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is easy to forge, per security experts, according to the WSJ.

In countries in the European Union, where a digital certificate with a dedicated QR code for each person serves as a vaccination card, fake certificates are also on the rise.

  • In Italy, for instance, about 30 social media profiles have popped up that purport to sell fake certificates, about 500 of which have been sold in the past few months.
  • Most of the fraudulent cards emerge on the platform Telegram, which shuts down channels selling fake certificates when asked to by the Italian government, per the WSJ.
  • "At least by shutting down the accounts, we have momentarily stopped the phenomenon," Eugenio Fusco, a Milan prosecutor who has investigated the fraudulent certificates, told the WSJ.

Go deeper

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: CDC says some immunocompromised people can get fourth COVID shot — FDA panel endorses Pfizer vaccines for 5-11 year olds — Moderna says vaccine shows strong immune response in kids
  2. Health: COVID cases, deaths at meat plants were far higher than previously thought — 96% of Tyson Foods employees vaccinated ahead of mandate deadline — U.S. releases updated vaccination, testing rules for foreign travelers
  3. Politics: Louisiana lifts mask mandate except for some schools — Alabama governor orders state agencies to fight federal vaccine mandate — Axios-Ipsos poll: Confidence in Biden COVID recovery tumbles
  4. Education: Benefits of vaccine for children outweigh risks, FDA says — Education secretary reveals limits to Biden’s mask push on states — LA extends deadline for school employee vaccinations.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
Oct 26, 2021 - Health

New York City police union files lawsuit against vaccine mandate

Combination images of New York City Patrolman Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. Photo: Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images/David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

New York City's biggest police union filed a lawsuit Monday against Mayor Bill de Blasio's COVID-19 vaccine requirement for all NYC public employees.

Why it matters: The mandate requires all city employees to have had at least one dose by this Friday. They must show proof of vaccination or they'll be placed on unpaid leave. The Police Benevolent Association of New York tweeted Monday that it's seeking a temporary restraining order to halt the mandate, pending the outcome of its lawsuit.

Oct 26, 2021 - Health

Alabama governor orders state agencies to fight federal vaccine mandate

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey. Photo: Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey on Monday signed an executive order directing state agencies to not enforce federal coronavirus vaccine mandates, and instead cooperate with the state's attorney general to sue the Biden administration over the requirements.

The big picture: No government entity shall impose any agreement demanding that an employee get vaccinated, the Republican governor's executive order says. It adds that state employees will not be required to present vaccination proof to receive any sort of government service or to enter a government building.

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