How to protect yourself from COVID-19 vaccine scams

February 12, 2021 | by Edward-Elmhurst Health
Categories: Healthy Driven Life

As more people become eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, we see an opportunity to bring the pandemic to an end.

Unfortunately, scammers also see an opportunity.

Federal agencies have issued warnings about scammers who are taking advantage of people desperate to receive the vaccine.

The slow rollout of the vaccine can be frustrating, but your turn will come. Remember, if an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Watch for these signs of possible COVID-19 vaccine scams:

  • Advertisements or offers for early access to a vaccine upon payment of a deposit or fee
  • Requests asking you to pay out of pocket to obtain the vaccine or to put your name on a COVID-19 vaccine waiting list
  • Offers to undergo additional medical testing or procedures when obtaining a vaccine
  • Marketers offering to sell and/or ship doses of a vaccine, domestically or internationally, in exchange for payment of a deposit or fee
  • Unsolicited emails, telephone calls, or personal contact from someone claiming to be from a medical office, insurance company, or COVID-19 vaccine center requesting personal and/or medical information to determine recipients’ eligibility to participate in clinical vaccine trials or obtain the vaccine
  • Claims of FDA approval for a vaccine that cannot be verified
  • Advertisements for vaccines through social media platforms, email, telephone calls, online or from unsolicited/unknown sources
  • Individuals contacting you in person, by phone or email to tell you that the government or government officials require you to receive a COVID-19 vaccine

Protect yourself. Follow these important tips to avoid being scammed:

  • Seek legitimate information about coronavirus and available vaccines from your local health department, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Illinois Department of Public Health or check our coronavirus vaccine page.
  • Talk to your primary care doctor about how to get the vaccine.
  • Do not share your personal information or health information with anyone except known and trusted medical professionals.
  • Do not pay anyone for the vaccine or a place in line to receive the vaccine. Any vaccine provided by the federal government will be free. Some providers, such as retail pharmacies, may charge an administrative fee that could be covered by medical insurance. No one can be denied the vaccine if they are unable to pay the vaccine administration fee.
  • Update your computer’s anti-malware and anti-virus programs and check your internet network security frequently.
  • Verify websites and email addresses that look legitimate but may be imposters.
  • Never open emails, links or attachments from unknown sources.

Everyone’s patience is being tested by the COVID-19 vaccine rollout. But it will get better and, eventually, the vaccine will be available to anyone who wants it.

For updates on our planning and response efforts as we work to stop the spread of COVID-19, please check EEHealth.org/coronavirus.

Are you wondering whether to get the vaccine? Read our blog to learn more.

Edward-Elmhurst Health offers screening options for COVID-19, including a symptom checker to advise you on what to do next and a COVID-19 Nurse Triage Line (331-221-5199) to see if you meet testing requirements. We also offer Video Visits and E-Visits for COVID-19 symptoms.

The information in this article may change at any time due to the changing landscape of this pandemic. Read the latest on COVID-19.

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