Maryland officials are urging residents to beware of scam artists attempting to sell coronavirus shots, stressing that legitimate vaccinations don’t cost anything.

The Maryland Insurance Administration tweeted Tuesday that vaccine providers can seek reimbursement from insurance companies but there are no co-pays or cost-sharing.

“There have been increased reports of fraud connected to COVID-19 vaccines,” Gov. Larry Hogan said at a news conference Tuesday. “I want to make this very clear: No one can sell you a vaccine, no one can charge you for a vaccine. It is free. No insurance information is required and no Social Security information is required.”

Hogan said any suspicious activity should be immediately reported to law enforcement officials.

“Anyone who attempts to prey on innocent people in this life-and-death crisis will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” the Republican governor said.

Maryland Insurance Commissioner Kathleen A. Birrane said people can contact her agency if they believe they are being scammed.

“It is OK to give your insurance information. It is OK for the provider to bill the insurance company,” Birrane told WTTG-TV (Channel 5). What they can’t do is … pass any part of those costs along to you. You will not have to pay for the vaccine. You will not have to pay for the vaccine administration.”

As of Wednesday, Maryland has administered roughly 1.1 million vaccine doses, with about 381,000 people receiving both doses of the two-shot vaccines currently available, according to a state-run tracker.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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