Authorities probing reports of persons forging & selling Covid vaccination cards

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A Covid-19 vaccine card

Local authorities are investigating reports that persons are forging and selling Covid-19 vaccination cards, Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony has announced.

He noted that in addition to selling vaccination cards, persons are said to be forging information regarding the second dose on their official vaccine document.

“I’m not sure why they would forge second dose information, but as I have said before, the three vaccines that we’re using, we have adequate first and second dose, for AstraZeneca, Sinopharm…we’ve had a challenge with the Sputnik V but again we have first dose available and we’re working to make sure that we get the second doses,” the Minister explained.

He went on to warn of the penalties persons will face if they are caught forging the vaccination cards.

“I just want to remind the general public in Section 240 of our Criminal Law or Criminal Offences Act Chapter 8:01, forgery is an offence and you can be prosecuted for forgery and the fine, if found guilty of forgery, would be up to three years imprisonment,” the Health Minister warned.

“And if you forge a vaccination card, you will be liable to this type of punishment if caught. So, I want to encourage people desist from such practices because when we catch you, you are going to feel the full brunt of the law,” the Minister contended.

“That goes to the people who have access to the vaccination card and the people who are buying the vaccination card,” the Minister added.

Authorities were previously dealing with cases whereby unvaccinated persons were falsely trying to obtain vaccine cards by claiming that they had misplaced their original document.

According to updated Covid-19 measures, only vaccinated persons will be allowed to access certain services and facilities such as going to the cinemas, restaurants, betting shops and casinos. Additionally, the new measures require that public transportation operators be vaccinated.

Government has already warned of stiff penalties for persons who breach these vaccination requirements. In the case of speedboat operators, the Maritime Administration Department (MARAD) has since warned that they can lose their licences if they fail to comply with the new guideline.

Moreover, unvaccinated persons will not be allowed to access government services unless they make an appointment.

Additionally, many private sector employers are now mandating that their unvaccinated employees submit regular PCR tests at their own expense.