New vaccine cards coming as police probe more cases of forgery
A new COVID-19 vaccination card is being developed as part of efforts to curb the ongoing forgery of the COVID-19 ‘blue books’, according to the Minister of Health Dr. Frank Anthony.
During his daily COVID-19 update on Monday, the Health Minister said that the Guyana Police Force (GPF) is investigating about 15 cases of forged vaccine cards. It was only two weeks ago that the local authorities were investigating 10 cases of stolen and forged vaccination cards.
Dr. Anthony said he hopes that the local authorities can speedily conclude their investigations and prosecute those individuals involved. In the interim, however, Dr. Anthony said that the “card system” will be changed.
“We are working on that right now, very soon we are going to introduce a different type of card that’s going to be harder to forge and if people didn’t have the proper documentation in the first place, then they are not going to get it,” he stated.
Importantly, Dr. Anthony emphasised that this practice can have a potentially devastating impact on the healthcare offered to people.
He explained that if an individual obtains a stolen or forged vaccination card and get infected with the novel coronavirus, then the local health authorities will assume that they have been immunised and might have been impacted by a breakthrough infection.
Meanwhile, Dr. Anthony warned “dishonest people” about engaging in the theft and forgery of the cards. If healthcare workers, in particular, are found engaging in this malpractice, he said that the local health authorities “will probably disbar” those healthcare professionals from practising medicine.
The local authorities have advised people against stealing and forging these vaccination cards. Advisor to the Ministry of Health Dr Leslie Ramsammy cited Section 240 of Guyana’s Criminal Offences Act, emphasising that forgery is an offence.