Have you or a loved one received a phone call, text, or email stating that you’re eligible for or offering you early access to a COVID-19 vaccine?
It’s likely a scam, per New York Attorney General Letitia James. The United States has only recently begun administering COVID-19 vaccines to healthcare professionals and nursing home residents and employees. The vaccines won’t be available to the general public for at least a few months.
Be cautious if you receive messages such as:
• Someone offering you access to a COVID-19 vaccine. Do not give out your Social Security number, personal credit card, or bank account information. No one from a vaccine distributor, health care provider, pharmacy, or private insurance company will ask for this information.
• Someone offering a vaccine and claiming to represent organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) or the World Health Organization (WHO). If you are contacted via email regarding a COVID-19 vaccine or clinical trial, check the sender’s email domain to make sure it matches the official website of the organization the email is claiming to be from. However, do not click any links from the email in question to verify this information. With any email, if you do not know the sender, use caution when clicking links and do not provide any personal information.
• If you have health insurance, you should not need to pay anything out of pocket to get the vaccine while the pandemic remains a public health emergency. If you don’t have health insurance, the provider may only charge an administration fee. However, in many instances, you likely will not be required to pay the administration fee.
• You can’t pay to put your name on a list to get the vaccine or to get into a vaccine clinical trial.
If you have doubts or questions about whether a vaccine or clinical trial is real, please check with a licensed healthcare provider.
For up to date COVID-19 vaccine information (such as approval and distribution in New York), please visit https://covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov or call the New York State COVID-19 hotline at 1-888-364-3065.
For additional questions on scams or where to file a report, please contact Tioga Opportunities, Inc. at 607-687-4120, ext. 331.