Several dozen New York City sanitation workers have been accused of submitting falsified vaccination cards to satisfy the city's COVID-19 vaccine mandate, and they've been suspended without pay, according to a city official.
The city's Department of Investigation is looking into the allegations, with spokesperson Diane Struzzi adding: "DOI is aware of allegations involving the issuance of bogus vaccination cards and declines further comment."
New York City's Sanitation Department also is investigating the situation in coordination with the DOI, according to Sanitation Department spokesman Joshua Goodman.
"These are very concerning allegations and we take them very seriously," Goodman said. "Getting vaccinated is important to public health, and we do not tolerate anyone faking something that is a requirement of city employment."
Over 87% of the department's roughly 10,000 employees are either fully or partially vaccinated, according to ABC New York station WABC.
"Anyone found to have faked their vaccination will be suspended without pay," Goodman added.
The employees allegedly submitted real CVS cards listing that they had received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, but, upon verifying, officials realized CVS hasn't administered the J&J vaccine since May.
Employees allegedly lied about taking the J&J dosage because it was easier to fake receiving a single shot. The cards all came from the same CVS in southern Brooklyn but were distributed to multiple sanitation garages.
As of now, the accused sanitation workers are facing up to three weeks suspension without pay.