Study shows widespread use of fake vaccine cards at colleges

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Vaccine cards have become the key to enter many places now, whether it be concert venues, restaurants or to get into crowded events and universities, like UNM.

However, a new nationwide survey of over 1,200 unvaccinated students found 55% of students reported lying about getting vaccinated. 46% of those students, who admitted to lying, also admitted to buying or making vaccine cards.

"I’ve seen on places like TikTok where people showing their fake cards," UNM student Makayla Price said. "People on Snapchat, I’ve seen them sell fake ones!"

"My friend goes to Boulder and two people he’s met use fake ones," UNM student Trystan Howze stated.

To encourage vaccinations, UNM has offered $100 incentives for students, faculty and staff and has even held on-campus clinics.

Now, nearly 77% of UNM’s main campus students – and nearly 95% of faculty – are verified as vaccinated. According to a UNM spokesperson, the university is not seeing any red flags with fake cards.

"The cards are reviewed by people that have been trained in identifying what needs to be looked at in the review process and they’re very thorough about that," UNM spokesperson Cinnamon Blair said. "If there are any concerns or issues, they just reach out directly to the individual to try to resolve that. As far exemptions go, those are submitted to our Compliance, Ethics and Equal Opportunity Office. "

The deadline for the vaccine mandate is September 30. By then, all students, faculty and staff will need to be vaccinated or be subject to weekly testing, if they have an exemption.