Strange Text About Your Vaccine? Here’s What Could Be Going On


If you get a strange text after getting your COVID vaccine it might not be a scam. In COVID testing, contact tracing, and vaccination efforts, public health departments have been using private companies to interface with citizens.

For example, the City of Los Angeles has teamed up with startup Carbon Health to run vaccine appointments for all of the COVID-related things.

Policy under health care data portability and privacy law HIPAA allows health care providers to share patient information with “business associates” as long as those companies securely store data. But this means you might be getting communication about your vaccines from entities you may not have heard of before.

At the same time, the FDA, the FTC, and the FCC have all issued guidance for consumers to be aware of COVID vaccine-related scams that try to sell you bogus or harmful products or steal private information.

To stay safe, be wary of messages from unknown senders that prompt you to click a link and enter personal information and pay attention to the sender (a legitimate text from the government or a hospital will say exactly who’s sending it), and keep in mind that local governments will be the ones creating a vaccine passport system, so they’ve partnered with different health companies to manage the massive logistical challenge of getting their populations vaccinated.

For example, Healthvana has partnered with multiple states and counties to deliver COVID test results and contact tracing and has an expanded contract with Los Angeles County to provide digital records of vaccinations.