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AARP Warning Of COVID-19 Vaccine Scams

Utah Public Radio

As COVID-19 Vaccinations continue to roll-out in Utah, the state AARP director is warning people of potential vaccine frauds that could occur. 

“These vaccines are intended to be free,” said Alan Oremsby, the state AARP director for Utah. “No one should have to pay a copay, especially if they are on Medicare. And many of the private insurance companies are waiving co-pays as well. So we're concerned that there are likely to be scammers that will raise their heads and say, ‘hey, if you give us this money, then you can get in line earlier’ or  ‘it costs $250, but if you just give us $79, you can get it for a discount.” 


Oremsby said while they have not heard reports of these types of scams in Utah, there have been stories of calls like this in other states. 


“The first step is to look out for those red flags of someone calling you and offering something that is unique or special to you, especially if there's any kind of cost associated with it,” Oremsby said. “The second you hear somebody say, ‘and it's only this price,’ you know, it's a scam.” 


Oremsby said it’s important to remember that there really aren’t legitimate shortcuts to receive the vaccine sooner. At this point, it’s a matter of waiting for local health departments to have the needed doses. 


And when it comes to those doses, Oremsby said he is glad to see the state prioritizing people over age 70 and those in assisted living facilities and wants to see this soon expanded to other adults under 70 who have comorbidities. 


“We would love to see the governor's office and the health department start to figure out ways to openly and transparently categorize that,” he said, “and then get those people next in line so that they have the best opportunity to get the vaccine as quickly as possible.”