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For Some Businesses And Schools Requiring COVID Vaccine For Entry, It's Trust, Not Verify

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CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card indicating first of two injections from Sumter County, Florida.

There's nationwide concern that fake COVID-19 vaccine cards are becoming more plentiful.

As fake COVID vaccine cards become more of a problem nationwide, WVXU asked a handful of local businesses and schools how they're handling the verification process.

The owners of The Littlefield and Second Place bars in Northside say they have no ability to track the validity of vaccine cards. But they “still have faith customers are honest and will respect our requests” to be vaccinated if they want to dine and drink indoors.

For The Yoga Bar in Newport, owner Rachel Roberts has created an extra step when people sign up for in-person classes.

“Anyone who comes to the studio registers and creates an account online," she says. "And now we’ve added an additional step. There’s a waiver that pops up that asks each student to attest to their vaccine status.”

A spokeswoman for the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber says the organization has not yet been approached with questions from area businesses wanting to know about employee verification of COVID vaccine cards.

Earlham College is one of few area schools to require the vaccine. But President Anne Houtman says there has been a lot of buy-in by students and faculty. Most were vaccinated on campus before it was required, she says.

“So, there’s not really that many people who would fake it, because we know almost all of them have (gotten the vaccine)," Houtman says.

Also, the Quaker college community agrees to five main principles, one of which is integrity.

Still, students must submit their vaccine records and apply for exemptions, if applicable.

About a quarter of Earlham’s students are international and Houtman says they can get a vaccine on campus.

With more than 30 years of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market, Ann Thompson brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting. She has reported for WKRC, WCKY, WHIO-TV, Metro Networks and CBS/ABC Radio. Her work has been recognized by the Associated Press and the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2019 and 2011 A-P named her “Best Reporter” for large market radio in Ohio. She has won awards from the Association of Women in Communications and the Alliance for Women in Media. Ann reports regularly on science and technology in Focus on Technology.