The Punjab government has denied the rumors on social media that elderly citizens could walk into Lahore’s Expo Center without an appointment to get COVID-19 vaccine shots.
The officials responsible for the vaccination process urged people to register for the plan and wait to receive a PIN code via SMS before arriving at their assigned vaccination center.
Tens of hundreds of people turned to the Expo Center as a result of a viral message on social media, which read that people over 60 could walk in with an ID card to get vaccinated without waiting for an SMS code.
The message made many people believe that their elderly family members could get the shots within 15 minutes upon arriving at the Expo Center amid the third wave of COVID-19 in the country.
When approached for a comment in this regard, Punjab Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department Secretary, Capt (retd) Usman Younis, tweeted on Sunday that:
While it is true that we don’t return people and we also provide walk-in [inoculation service] if one spouse is scheduled and the other isn’t, we process people as per [the] schedule, and if everyone starts turning up on their own, it will delay the ones in line. Please wait for the message.
Before him, Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Focal Person on Digital Media, Dr. Arslan Khalid, termed the viral message “fake”.
A fake message is circulating on Facebook and WhatsApp that anyone over 60, can walk in with an ID card and get vaccinated at expo Center Lahore without waiting for the SMS code. This is absolutely no reality to it and please dont forward this Fake message.#FakeNews
— Dr Arslan Khalid (@arslankhalid_m) March 13, 2021
In a statement, Younis emphasized that the vaccine will be administered only to registered people after they show the code received through SMS.
“Vaccination on the basis of the PIN code through proper registration will save both time and resources.”
He requested citizens not to pay attention to rumors spreading about the vaccine and arrive at vaccination centers with their pin codes.