After Covid vax, certificate fraud now denies booster jabs for many

Alleging misuse of his ID card as the site of vaccination remains the same for all the doses, he said: “If this is a technical issue, there can be other ways this information and ID cards can be used. This should be rectified.”
Representative image
Representative image

CHENNAI: The State health department has been emphasizing the administration of precautionary booster doses, but the irregularities in issuing vaccination certificates continue to trouble the public. Several complaints of individuals who have not been vaccinated are being recorded as their certificates reflect the completion of vaccination using their Aadhaar card.

“I was eligible for a precautionary booster dose and when I wanted to get vaccinated, I got a message that it was already given on my Aadhaar number and phone number. When I checked my certificate, it showed an entry was made for a booster dose. The zonal officials said there can be a fault of entry and I can get vaccinated at any hospital, but I don’t know how the hospital authorities will agree to my request and what date would they enter in my certificate,” said M Suresh, 74, of Madhavaram.

Alleging misuse of his ID card as the site of vaccination remains the same for all the doses, he said: “If this is a technical issue, there can be other ways this information and ID cards can be used. This should be rectified.”

In another instance, V Shanmathi, 56, also underwent a similar experience when she went to a vaccination centre on the last day of free booster dose vaccination. She was surprised to find that a precautionary booster dose was already registered on her identity card. The officials at the centre told her that they will make the changes upon request to the zonal officials.

Earlier, DT Next had reported on the incidents of impersonation while issuing vaccination certificates as it was found that centre staff were helping people gain certificates or vaccination by misusing the Aadhaar details or contact numbers of others.

Though the Directorate of Public Health and Preventive Medicine (DPH) had instructed all Deputy Directors of Health Services to take action and instruct field staff not to indulge in such practices, these incidents are again seeing a surge.

Meanwhile, the DPH officials said the grievance redressal committee is looking into issues involved in the first and second dose and data entry error for precautionary booster doses is rare.

“There can be incidents of wrong entry at camps due to involvement of outsourced staff. We’ll request central officials to delete the COWIN entry in such cases so that the eligible can get a booster dose,” said Dr Vinay Kumar, State Immunisation Officer, DPH.

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