Good Question: What’s the penalty for lying on a vaccine form?

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Here’s a Good Question about the COVID vaccine.

There is a form New Yorkers must fill out to get the vaccine. It’s a document listing all of the qualifying categories. You have to mark that you truly are eligible.

It says "I hereby certify under penalty of law that I belong to one of the below priority groups eligible for vaccination.”

There have been rumors about people lying to skip the line by using a fake address or claiming they fall under other rules, like for an underlying health condition they don’t actually have.

A viewer asked News10NBC’s Brennan Somers: What is the penalty for lying on the NYS COVID form by say you are eligible when you really aren’t? For example, you say you are a grocery store worker and you aren’t.

Besides filling out the form, there are other checks in place to make sure no one gets ahead of anyone else in the vaccine pool.
The state has a list of documents covering IDs, paystubs, an employee badge along with other proof people should bring with them to get a shot. They can also ask for a doctor’s note to prove underlying health conditions.

However, as we’ve reported local county leaders around the Finger Lakes aren’t asking for that. They are opting to go with more of an honor system to streamline the process at their sites.

While not having to show a doctor’s note, county officials are making you attest on the form stating you qualify. It’s a misdemeanor that could lead up to a year in jail if you’re caught lying on the attestation.

Last week, Somers asked NYS Department of Health officials if they are aware of that happening and for a tally on violations to date. No one responded.


Watch previous Good Question segments here. If you have a question you’d like answered, email