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Falsifying a COVID-19 vaccination card could mean a fine, even a felony

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EAU CLAIRE (WQOW) - As more events and locations are requiring proof of a COVID-19 vaccination, some unvaccinated people are trying to dodge the shot and order counterfeit forms online -- possibly without knowing the consequences like a fine, or even time behind bars.

According to officials with the Eau Claire County District Attorney's office, using a counterfeit vaccination card violates a Wisconsin Statute 146.83(4)(a) where ' No person may intentionally falsify a patient health care record.' For violating a health care record, the maximum fine is $25,000, 9 months in jail or both.

One could also face forgery charges.

Andrew Gunderson, Assistant District Attorney in Eau Claire County, said in some cases, those who are faking their vaccine record, could be held criminally liable for unintentionally putting other people in danger.

"You're opening yourself up to increased danger, especially if you put other people at risk, if people who wouldn't normally associate with you, someone who is immunocompromised, and they do associate with you because they think you're vaccinated and they get sick, you could potentially face ramifications from that," said Gunderson.

Gunderson adds using a counterfeit vaccination card can be in violation of identification theft if one uses someone else's vaccine card or information to falsify their vaccination status (Wis. Stat. 943.203). Identity theft could be a misdemeanor or even a felony.

At the state felony level, Gunderson said that a person could violate the statute of the unauthorized use of an individual's personal identifying information or documents. That Class H felony could result in a $10,000 fine, up to 6 years in prison, or both (Wis. Stat. 943.201(2)(a)).

And at the federal level, the repercussions of duplicating a government seal, such as the CDC's, could lead to a $5,000 fine, and up to 5 years in prison or again, both.

Attorneys with the Eau Claire County District Attorney's Office said they have not encountered any cases yet where a fake vaccination card has been used.