MOKENA, IL — As COVID-19 vaccines start getting distributed in Mokena and across the state, now more than ever it's critical that residents be careful of potential scams.
Two vaccine manufacturers, Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna, have had their vaccines authorized for emergency use by the Food and Drug Administration.
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), an independent group of experts convened by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has recommended that health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities should receive the first available doses.
As additional data is available, more vaccines are authorized by the FDA, and vaccine production increases, ACIP will continue to update its recommendations.
States are also working on their own specific vaccination plans. While Mokena residents wait for a timeline and more information, the Federal Trade Commission offers some safety tips that could be beneficial against scams.
Here's what you need to know to avoid a vaccine-related scam:
You likely will not need to pay anything out of pocket to get the vaccine during this public health emergency.
You can't pay to put your name on a list to get the vaccine.
You can't pay to get early access to the vaccine.
No one from a vaccine distribution site or health care payer, like a private insurance company, will call you asking for your Social Security number or your credit card or bank account information to sign you up to get the vaccine.
Beware of providers offering other products, treatments, or medicines to prevent the virus. Check with your health care provider before paying for or receiving any COVID-19-related treatment.
If you get a call, text, email — or even someone knocking on your door — claiming they can get you early access to the vaccine, that's a scam. Don't pay for a promise of vaccine access or share personal information.
Instead, report it to the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov or file a complaint with your state or territory attorney general through consumerresources.org, the consumer website of the National Association of Attorneys General.
Patch reporter Abhinanda Datta contributed to this article.