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A magnifying glass hovering over a COVID-19 vaccine card to check the validity of the vaccine card. Photo: Raychel Brightman/Newsday RM via Getty Images.

Three Vermont state troopers have resigned following an investigation into an alleged fraudulent COVID-19 vaccination card scheme, the Vermont State Police said in a statement on Tuesday.

Driving the news: The former troopers are suspected of creating fake COVID-19 vaccination cards, per the statement.

  • The case has been referred to the U.S. Attorney Office in Vermont and the FBI, which has opened an investigation into the matter.

Details: Two of the officers, Shawn Sommers and Raymond Witkowski, submitted their resignations on Aug. 10.

  • David Pfindel resigned on Sept. 3 following an additional investigation from the Department of Public Safety.

What they're saying: "[It] is reprehensible that state troopers would manipulate vaccination cards in the midst of a pandemic, when being vaccinated is one of the most important steps anyone can take to keep their community safe from COVID-19," said director of the Vermont State Police Col. Matthew Birmingham.

  • "[The] alleged criminal conduct from these troopers does not represent the values and actions of the dedicated men and women of the Vermont State Police," Birmingham added.

Go deeper

Oct 21, 2021 - Health

India crosses 1 billion COVID vaccinations milestone

A health worker inoculates a COVID-19 vaccine dose to a man wearing a face mask of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Beawar, India, in September. Photo: Sumit Saraswat/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced Thursday that the country's health workers have now administered more than 1 billion COVID-19 vaccines doses.

Of note: While this is a significant milestone for the country of 1.4 billion, which has been devastated by the coronavirus, only about 30% of the eligible population has been fully vaccinated against the virus, per AP. Roughly 75% have received at least one dose.

DeSantis to convene state legislature to fight COVID vaccine mandates

Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Thursday that he will convene a special session of the state legislature to combat coronavirus vaccine mandates enacted by businesses and "provide protections for employees."

Why it matters: This is the Republican governor's latest move to penalize local entities that implement mask or vaccine mandates to contain the spread of the virus.

Oct 21, 2021 - Health

Pediatric groups declare youth mental health crisis a national emergency

Kids attending school in Los Angeles, California. Photo: ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images

Three major pediatric health groups declared on Tuesday a national state of emergency in children's mental health.

The big picture: Rates of childhood mental health issues and suicide had been rising since 2010 but worsened significantly in the last year amid the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing social unrest around racial justice.