Speaker Carl Heastie and Codes Committee Chair Jeffrey Dinowitz today announced the Assembly has passed legislation that would confirm that forging proof of immunization is a felony (A.7536, Dinowitz).
“It is beyond comprehension that after the horror and death that the pandemic caused across the world – and especially here in New York – that people are willing to endanger their health and those around them by using forged vaccination documents,” Speaker Heastie said. “This legislation would ensure that those that are endangering the public health with forged documents can be held responsible for their actions.”
“New Yorkers deserve to know that when they attend an event or go to a ballgame where proof of vaccination is required that those around them are not putting people at risk by using forged documents,” Assemblymember Dinowitz said. “This is a public health issue, and after the devastating loss of life that we experienced over the last year, it is critical that we take all reasonable steps to ensure that New Yorkers can safely begin to resume their lives.”
The legislation passed today would update New York State’s forgery law to ensure that forging proof of immunization or possessing forged proof of immunization with the intent to defraud, deceive or injure is considered a class D or class C felony, depending on the number of forged records. Individuals who knowingly possess falsified COVID-19 vaccination records would be guilty of criminal possession of a forged instrument in the first or second degree. This includes, but is not limited to, COVID-19 vaccination records.
This legislation comes on recent reports of counterfeit COVID-19 vaccination cards in New York and across the country. The distribution and use of forged vaccination records is dangerous to public health and to the public’s trust in the safety of public spaces when attending events or venues that require proof of vaccination.