So, you got vaccinated — now what? As more and more cities and states begin to ease their COVID-19 guidance to those who have received the vaccine, confusion and controversy over so-called “vaccine passports” is going viral. Yahoo News Reporter Garin Flowers explains the best way to carry your proof of vaccination with you, and how to avoid scams looking to cash in on the uncertainty.
GARIN FLOWERS: So you got vaccinated. Congrats! That means you've got one of these.
This card verifies your vaccination with your identity, the type of shot you received, as well as the date. And it's important you don't lose it because depending on where you live, some places you're going to want to check before they let you.
Well, let's be real. This thing is pretty flimsy doesn't, really fit well into a wallet, and it's not waterproof. But you're not supposed to laminate it in case you need to get a booster shot down the road.
So what are you supposed to do? Well, what if you can carry this inside of this.
Right now, New York is the only state directly issuing digital COVID-19 vaccine records through a state run app. But other states like Hawaii and California where I live are starting to partner with private companies to create something similar.
For instance, I registered to a service called VaxYes. They work with the California Department of Health, and it's easy.
You text them the information they ask for, send photos of your vaccination record, then they email you a digital version you can throw on your phone. But what if you don't live in New York, California, or Hawaii? Then it gets a little more complicated.
- The fight over vaccine passport rages across the country.
- Government should not require any Texan to show proof of vaccination.
- No vaccine passports in Idaho. Not now, not ever.
- People have certain freedoms and individual liberties to make decisions for themselves. I also wonder it's like, OK, you're going to do this and then what give all this information to some big corporation.
GARIN FLOWERS: Proof of vaccination is politically divisive. 16 states have outright banned requirements for so-called vaccine passports. Whereas in Oregon, you might need to show you've been vaccinated. But there's no official digital equivalent.
The other 30 states, they aren't making it easy either. There are no clear rules on where you might need to show your vaccination record, and no clear alternative to the physical card. This is, of course, an unfolding process as things are moving forward.
So now, there's companies rushing the stage to fill the void. But vaxxer beware. In the rush, some bad actors have entered stage fright. Scammers are reportedly using the confusion over vaccine passports to get folks to hand over personal and medical information.
- Booming business for scammers.
- Scammers are taking advantage of this pandemic.
GARIN FLOWERS: So what's a person to do? Here are some ways the Better Business Bureau says you can protect your data.
Research carefully. Make sure the app or website is legit. Don't buy fraudulent vaccine cards. Also, double check that URL.
This is a good one. Scammers will try to get you by buying an official looking link. But it's not. So don't click on something like go-get-vac.com,
Lastly, be wary of any vaccine passport app claiming to be from the federal government. Even the FTC said on their website, you'll never get a call, email, or text from them. That is a scam.
Everyone wants to go out this summer, catch a game, maybe see a concert, or just go to a nice air conditioned restaurant. But those places require a vaccine. Make sure you are getting proof, not duped.