NPHCDA, DSS, Others To Investigate And Prosecute Fraudulent COVID-19 Vaccine Card Sellers, Buyers

The National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, NPHCDA is collaborating with the State Security Services (SSS), ICPC, and other law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute any persons and their accomplices attempting to fraudulently acquire COVID-19 vaccination cards without getting vaccinated.

The Executive Director, NPHCDA, Dr. Faisal Shuaib who disclosed this in Abuja, during a weekly press briefing on the progress of phase 2 COVID-19 vaccination rollout said NPHCDA and the Presidential Steering Committee strongly condemn these fraudulent attempts and are urging those attempting such acts to desist henceforth.

‘With the increase in COVID-19 vaccination mandates globally, it has come to the notice of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) and the Federal Ministry of Health, that attempts are being made by unscrupulous persons to procure the COVID-19 vaccination cards, without receiving the COVID-19 vaccines. “

“The ongoing COVID-19 vaccination and the vaccination cards are totally free of charge at all designated COVID-19 vaccination sites across the 36 states of the Federation and the FCT. “

According to Dr.Faisal, “Possession of vaccination cards without receiving the vaccines is criminal and punishable by law. The NPHCDA enjoins the general public to immediately report any suspected cases of buying and selling of COVID-19 vaccination cards without receiving the vaccines to the nearest law enforcement agency or to NPHCDA.”

He said a total of 4,487,367 eligible persons have received their 1st dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and are made up of 2,863,422 persons who have taken the first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine and 1,623,945 persons who have taken the first dose of Moderna vaccine.

“So far, 1,783,676 eligible persons have been fully vaccinated, of which 1,781,840 is with the AstraZeneca vaccine, while 1,836 persons have had the Moderna vaccine.”

As you may be aware, the UK Government released a new travel advisory which would take effect from Monday, October 4th, 2021. There have been concerns by Nigerians on how this would affect us. We would like to clarify that the guidance provided by the UK Government is that they would want to simplify the classification of countries from green, amber, and red to just red and green lists. Therefore, countries that are currently on the amber list may fall into either of these two categories.

The WHO Representative to Nigeria, Dr. Walter Kazadi Mulombo said the UK announced new travel guidelines which would affect African countries, including Nigeria.

“We urge all countries to recall and respect the principles of the International Health Regulations (IHR) that vaccines must be approved by WHO and be of suitable quality and universally available before they can be considered as a prerequisite for travel.”

“If someone is fully vaccinated with any of the vaccines with WHO Emergency Use Listing, they should be treated in the same way, regardless of which vaccine they received. WHO recommends that the same rules should apply for all individuals who have had an EUL vaccine, with no difference in restrictions depending on the product,” he said.

Dr. Mulombo said WHO was working with countries who have requested that international yellow fever or international yellow card be potentially used as a way to register vaccination and we are supporting countries in that.”

”The difficulty in this regard is that right now any imposition of such a requirement for vaccination around the world does in effect deliver a double inequality, as individuals from countries who have no access to vaccines will then have no access to travel and therefore it is very important that if we’re going to impose restrictions on the travel of individuals, we must at least attempt to do that from a level playing field of having access to the vaccine.” Dr. Mulombo added.

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