Audit launched to verify Covid vaccination certificates in KP

Published September 15, 2021
People wait their turn to receive the second shot of the Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre in Peshawar. — AP/File
People wait their turn to receive the second shot of the Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre in Peshawar. — AP/File

PESHAWAR: The government launched an audit to verify Covid-19 vaccination certificates of people, who got the documents from National Database and Registration Authority without inoculation, officials said.

They said that certificates were issued to some people by Nadra on the basis of confirmation of the vaccination centres while the people were not vaccinated physically.

Health Secretary Syed Imtiaz Hussain Shah told Dawn that an audit of the coronavirus vaccination centres was in progress to know about fake vaccination in the province.

Senior health officials involved in vaccination process said that FIA and other agencies would be taken on board once the audit was completed. The probe was initiated into Covid-19 vaccination following reports that many people got certificate from Nadra system without being physically vaccinated.

Officials say FIA and other agencies will be taken on board after completion of audit

They said that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was about to complete full vaccination of 10 million people. The same number of people has got the first dose but there are complaints from the vaccination centres that some individuals have not got the vaccine but obtained certificate with the help of the staff at the centres.

“In some cases, the vaccination staff confirmed the message of people sent by National Command and Control Centre (NCOC) regarding their inoculation but didn’t administer them jabs and entered their names in the system on the basis of which they got verification certificate from Nadra,” they said.

The health department has established 750 vaccination centres throughout the province to immunise about 20 million people by end of the current year. However, some of the people are hesitant to get vaccinated due to different rumours.

A physician, who is looking after vaccination campaign at one of the hospitals in Peshawar, told Dawn that they knew about such people, who had got immunised only on papers to be able to get certificates.

The government has linked official documentation regarding land transfer, domicile, etc with the Covid-19 vaccination certificate due to which people are using unfair means to get the same but don’t get shots.

“We have installed cameras where the people can be seen arriving at the centre and their particulars are entered into the system only when they get vaccinated. Initially, there were no cameras and all depended on the vaccinators,” said the physician.

The health officials said that FIA already launched probe into fake vaccination certificates in the country. “Like polio vaccination, people have developed various misconceptions such as the vaccines are meant to render recipients infertile and impotent or this is a plot by the west to kill Muslims, etc,” they said.

They said that like polio vaccines the Covid-19 jabs were also being administered to people free of cost, which created doubts in the minds of the people. The people thought as to why the government was giving the vaccines free of cost while for more serious ailments there were no free services, they said.

The health officials said that initially there were many such cases of fake vaccination because the system was simple but now there were cameras as well as monitoring by the senior staff due to due to which fake vaccination became almost impossible.

They said that there was decrease in vaccination also because of ban on public transport. Last month, the government had hinted at blocking mobile SIM cards of unvaccinated people due to which the speed of vaccination increased but after the expiry of the deadline people stopped coming for vaccination, they added.

“After threat of blocking SIMs, we receive 3,000 people for vaccination but now the number has dropped to only 1,000 a day,” the head of a vaccination centre said. He said that the people, who wanted vaccination for their safety, had already been vaccinated and the government needed to take strict measures to force the people to get immunised.

Health officials said that lately, the government also launched door-to-door campaign, which gave credence to the arguments of the people, who were against vaccination. “We have been unable to eradicate poliomyelitis because of such romours and Covid-19 vaccination shouldn’t be carried out on that pattern,” they added.

Published in Dawn, September 15th, 2021

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