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NC college students said to be buying fake COVID vaccination cards

Published: Aug. 4, 2021 at 11:49 AM EDT|Updated: Aug. 4, 2021 at 11:57 AM EDT
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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (Gray News) – Some students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are said to be buying fake COVID-19 vaccination cards to get around campus requirements that they either get the shot or submit to regular testing.

Students are reportedly willing to pay up to $200 to get their hands on them.

A UNC professor sounded the alarm on Twitter with a post saying he spoke with worried students who knew how to buy a fake COVID-19 vaccine card, and that they knew of others who submitted one to the university.

“It is really disturbing, the lengths that some students are willing to go to subvert the university requirements,” UNC student Simon Palmore said.

Palmore has heard about many of his fellow classmates deciding to buy vaccine cards to send to the university.

“And these students are going to be able to subvert the regular testing while also not being protected from the virus,” he said.

UNC has rolled out an online verification form, encouraging those vaccinated to verify their status. If they don’t get the shot before returning to campus, they’ll have to be tested on a weekly basis.

“To me, the type of people who would fake a vaccine card are the type of people who might go to parties and get COVID, so absolutely that’s the group that I think should be tested weekly,” said J.D. Boyd, a dental student at the university.

It’s supposedly as easy as getting a fake ID, because online vendors have made blank cards more accessible.

“I’m in the health care world, and I’m like, that’s just absolutely horrible,” Boyd said.

“We’re on an educated college campus in one of the most educated places in the world, and it should be like, ‘How can you be faking a vaccine when we have people to care about?’”

Todd McGee, an official with the Orange County Health Department, offered his reaction.

“If anybody is out there trying to get around the testing requirement, that’s really something that should be dealt with severely by any university,” he said.

With the surge of the delta variant and the fall semester just two weeks away, some hope UNC will crack down a little harder.

“I think if there was a vaccine requirement, the university would be forced to look more closely at these vaccination cards and verify that they’re in fact legitimate,” Palmore said.

In a statement, the university said providing false information about vaccination status is a violation of the university honor code, and it may result in disciplinary action such as suspension from the university.

Copyright 2021 Gray Media Group, Inc. All rights reserved. WRAL contributed to this report.