Officials with U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized three boxes of fake COVID-19 vaccine cards headed to New Orleans, The Times-Picayune/New Orleans Advocate reports. The cards, though remarkably similar to the official ones, were described by officials as “low-quality.” “There were typos, unfinished words, and some of the Spanish verbiage on the back was misspelled,” U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman Matthew Dyman said. The fake slips were seized between Aug. 4 and Aug. 10 at a Memphis, Tennessee, port, where batches meant for other states like New York and Alabama were also found, Dyman said. The use of a fake card could come with steep penalties, he said. Those who use a fake card with a government seal commit a felony, punishable by up to five years in federal prison.
The announcement comes a day after New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell said the city would mandate vaccinations or a negative COVID-19 test to enter restaurants, bars, gyms, and other indoor venues.