Governor Kathy Hochul / PHOTO NYS PRESSROOM


NEW YORK – Governor Kathy Hochul today signed a package of legislation that will improve New York’s response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This legislative package will take a major step forward in the State’s efforts to increase vaccination rates and study the effects this pandemic has had on our economy and health care system.

“We need to make sure we learn the lessons of the pandemic so we don’t make the same mistakes twice,” Governor Hochul said. “These new laws will help us improve our response to the pandemic now, crack down on fraudulent use of vaccination records, and help us better understand the areas of improvement we need to make to our health care system so we can be even more prepared down the road.”

Falsification of COVID-19 Vaccination Records

Legislation (S.4516-C/A.7536-B) adds clarification that a COVID Vaccination Card shall be considered a written instrument for purposes of the forgery statute which makes the falsification of COVID-19 Vaccination Cards​ a class D felony. It also creates a new E felony of computer tampering in the third degree for intentional entering, alteration or destruction of “computer material” regarding COVID-19 vaccine provisions. Individuals who misrepresent their vaccination history, not only jeopardize their own health, but the health of all those they come into contact with. This legislation ensures that as New York opens up and many businesses choose to rely on checking vaccination status, the falsification of vaccination records will not be tolerated.​

Senator Anna M. Kaplan said, “With the omicron variant putting our community at greater risk and threatening the progress we’ve made recovering from the pandemic, countless employers, schools, small businesses, and communities are relying on genuine proof of vaccination status as a tool to keep their spaces safe from COVID transmission. It’s never been more urgent that we protect this process from fraud so that the health and safety of the public isn’t compromised by bad actors using fraudulent vaccination cards or passports. The ‘Truth in Vaccination’ law will serve as a strong deterrent to prevent people from lying about their vaccination status, protecting public health, and ensuring our economic recovery can move forward. I’m grateful for Governor Hochul’s leadership in combating this crisis, and I’m thankful for my partnership with Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz to get this critical law passed through the legislature.”

Assembly member Jeffrey Dinowitz said, “The data is clear on vaccination requirements – they work. However, the remarkable ease at which it appears that New Yorkers could falsify vaccination records to feign compliance is astonishing. This new law will undoubtedly help prosecutors and other law enforcement hold people accountable for the damage they are doing to public health by undermining the efficacy of vaccination requirements in workplaces, businesses, restaurants, and more. Thank you to Governor Hochul for signing this legislation into law, and to State Senator Kaplan for her partnership leading this bill through the other chamber.”



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