Vaccination Cards Sold on Ebay; Pharmacist Arrested

vaccination cards

vaccination cards

Chicago Pharmacist Fired and Arrested for Selling COVID-19 Vaccination Cards on eBay

The spread of COVID-19 began three years ago on March 11, causing and creating a worldwide pandemic. It was the biggest pandemic in a while that affected many children and their families. Activities involving multiple groups of people in one space together were restricted, schools closed down, forcing students to go into virtual learning, mandatory masking was enforced outside and around large groups, and people lost their jobs as companies went out of business.

This increase in unemployment had the biggest effect on families with multiple people in their households. They could no longer afford food to provide for their families since they lost their jobs. Additionally, 20 million adults (9% of all adults in the country) reported that sometimes their household didn’t have enough food to eat in the last seven days. Fortunately, this number dropped in December 2020, when a relief package was introduced that included Economic Impact Payments of $1,400. These payments helped these families put food on their tables and recover from the negative economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Numbers also decreased, followed by the first monthly Child Tax Credit of up to $300 a month per child.

The Vaccine

Vaccination Cards
Courtesy of Mecklenburg County (Flickr CC0)

On Aug. 23, 2021, the COVID-19 vaccine was produced, which prevents people from contracting the Coronavirus, or if contracted, death is less likely to occur and the symptoms become mild. The process starts with one shot. Then it is followed up by a second shot after a few weeks. However, like most vaccines, they come with symptoms and side effects. People who received the vaccine experienced:

  • Pain/swelling in the arm area.
  • Swollen lymph nodes.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Tiredness.
  • Headache.
  • Muscle/joint pain.
  • Fever.
  • Nausea.

These symptoms, religious beliefs, and conspiracies against the government cause some people to avoid getting the vaccine. But nowadays, vaccines are required for things like college, jobs, school, activities, etc. A pharmacist decided to solve this problem while also making a profit out of it, by selling vaccination cards on eBay.

Selling Vaccination Cards

Vaccination cards have proof and records of people receiving their COVID-19 shots with signatures and dates. Tangtang Zhao, a 36-year-old working for a pharmacy in Chicago, stole CDC-issued vaccination cards, and sold them to an estimated 200 buyers on eBay, making up to $5,600. He sold these cards for three weeks, stating that they were ”authentic” and ”straight from the CDC”. He was caught and convicted of 12 counts of theft of government property, facing a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

Written by: Micah Grison


ABC News: Chicago pharmacist convicted of stealing, selling COVID-19 vaccination cards: DOJ

Aljazeera: Chicago pharmacist convicted of stealing, selling COVID-19 vaccination cards: DOJ

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: Tracking the COVID-19 Economy’s Effects on Food, Housing, and Employment Hardships

US Department of Justice: Pharmacist Convicted of Stealing and Selling COVID-19 Cards

Top and featured Image by New York Guard Captain Mark Getman Courtesy of New York National Guard‘s Flickr page – Creative Commons License

Inset image by Courtesy of Mecklenburg County‘s Flickr page – Creative Commons License


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