As the country recently crossed the 30 million mark of total vaccine doses administered, a number of media reports have confirmed that officials of the health department were involved in issuing fake COVID-19 vaccination certificates.
According to details, Police have taken action against four employees of Punjab’s health ministry in Lahore who were involved in providing fake vaccination certificates in exchange for money.
All of them have been arrested and further investigation is underway to trace down the holders of the fake certificates. It is expected that they will also be tried under the Punjab Employee Efficiency, Discipline and Accountability (PEDA) Act 2006 which could mean dismissal from service and withdrawal of post-retirement benefits.
Preliminary investigation has revealed that offenders were charging between Rs. 2,000 and Rs. 10,000 for one fake vaccination certificate on the basis of the demand of the Coronavirus vaccines approved for use in the country.
They have confessed that they used different social networking platforms to market their business and attract clients. One of them disclosed that the entire process of issuing vaccination certificates, including the form filling and checking of vitals, was conducted at authentic Mass Vaccination Centers (MVCs). However, the last step of vaccine administration was deliberately skipped while fictitious data was added to the system to generate the fake vaccination certificates.
The development has alarmed health experts all over the country who have warned that the matter if left unattended could jeopardize the ongoing Coronavirus vaccine drive.