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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

Nov 13, 2021 - Health

All adults in California, Colorado, New Mexico can get COVID boosters

A pharmacist fills a syringe with the Pfizer COVID-19 booster vaccination at a booster shot clinic in San Rafael, Calif. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

California, Colorado and New Mexico this week have expanded COVID-19 booster access to all adults.

Why it matters: Federal officials have recommended largely limiting the doses to people who are 65 and older, have underlying health conditions or work in high-risk environments.

Texas AG justifies supporting state vaccine ban, opposing federal mandate

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on "Fox News Sunday" struggled to address the contradictory nature of his stance on COVID-related mandates.

Driving the news: Texas filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration last month over its vaccine mandate for federal contractors, calling it "a dramatic infringement upon individual liberties."

Nov 14, 2021 - Health

Kaiser Permanente averts strike in tentative deal with health care workers

Kaiser Permanente security guards monitor an informational picket outside of the Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Medical Center on Nov. 10. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Union leaders representing nearly 50,000 health care workers and medical staff reached a tentative agreement in a labor dispute Saturday, avoiding a strike set to begin Monday.

Why it matters: The breakthrough in talks comes as nurses, front-line technicians and other hospital employees face worker shortages and burnout due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

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