Pharmacist charged with selling blank COVID vaccine cards

A pharmacist who lives in Streeterville is facing federal charges for allegedly selling dozens of blank COVID vaccination cards online.

Tangtang Zhao, 34, worked as a pharmacist for a company that “operates as a retail store and pharmacy locations across the United States,” according to a federal complaint that was unsealed Tuesday. Health and Human Services records indicate Zhao worked for Walgreens, which administers COVID vaccines and provides vaccination cards to recipients.

Zhao sold 125 blank CDC vaccination cards to eleven people between March 25 and April 11, the complaint said. The buyers allegedly purchased between eight and seventeen cards each for about $10 apiece.

“Knowingly selling COVID vaccination cards to unvaccinated individuals puts millions of Americans at risk of serious injury or death,” Emmerson Buie Jr., Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Chicago Field Office, said in a statement. “To put such a small price on the safety of our nation is not only an insult to those who are doing their part in the fight to stop COVID-19, but a federal crime with serious consequences.”

Zhao is charged with 12 counts of theft of government property. If convicted, he faces a sentence of up to ten years in prison for each count, according to a U.S. Department of Justice statement.

Please support CWBChicago’s reporting efforts with a contribution or subscription. Members-only perks await!