KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 21 – The Ministry of Health (MOH) will only remove from the MySejahtera system those who bought fraudulent Covid-19 vaccine certificates after they are convicted in court.
Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said he did not want to preempt police investigations, when asked by CodeBlue at a press conference yesterday on how authorities could confirm if people suspected of purchasing vaccine certificates were actually unvaccinated, since antibody tests cannot conclusively prove vaccination status.
“What we know is that once the investigation and also the due process in courts prove that these vaccine certs were fake, then we will clean up the MySejahtera list to make sure that those who are proven to have bought their vaccines are taken off the list. That’s the only sure way we’re going to know,” he said.
Police reportedly assume that all 5,601 people registered as Covid-19 vaccine recipients by a private clinic in Gombak, Selangor, did not receive their shots. The case is being investigated under Section 468 of the Penal Code for forgery.
The clinic is suspected of selling digital MySejahtera vaccine certificates at RM500 – a reduction from an initial RM3,000 due to competition from other clinics – without vaccinating buyers. The private health care facility instead allegedly threw away vaccines.
In the case of fake Covid-19 vaccine certificates allegedly sold by a private clinic in Marang, Terengganu, police reportedly said yesterday that 23 people confessed to not receiving their jabs. Some reportedly said they had received injections of distilled or salt water instead of coronavirus vaccines.
Bernama reported Terengganu police chief Rohaimi Md Isa as saying that 1,223 names were sent to the clinic for Covid-19 inoculation and MySejahtera vaccine certificates. The Marang investigation is conducted under Section 420 of the Penal Code for cheating.
“However, we believe that not all of them were given the actual vaccines.”
Police are also investigating the sale of fraudulent Covid-19 vaccine certificates in Johor, Sabah, Kelantan, Melaka, and Kedah. The cases in Selangor, Terengganu, Johor, and Sabah involve people suspected of getting digital vaccine certificates without being inoculated.
Khairy told the press yesterday that all of the cases of fake Covid-19 vaccination certification identified so far involved the private-purchase vaccine rollout, not the government’s National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK).
“Under set procedures, the vaccine administration process under PICK and private purchase must be reported to MOH through the MyVAS system for the purposes of record-keeping and issuance of vaccination certificates.
“However, in these incidents, what happened was that the involved private medical practitioners gave false vaccine administration reports to MOH.”
Khairy added that he has requested suppliers of the Sinovac and Sinopharm coronavirus vaccines to the private-purchase vaccination programme to tighten their standard operating procedures to prevent falsification of vaccine certificates.
“This is outside the government programme. I have also informed MOH so that we in MOH will do random monitoring of clinics involved in vaccination to ensure this does not happen again.”
Since all of the reported cases of fake Covid-19 vaccine certificates come from the private-purchase programme, it is likely that most of these are for certification of booster shots.
Sinovac was provided without charge to recipients under PICK as the primary course and is currently sold in the private-purchase programme to those who want the inactivated vaccine for their third shot. However, Sinovac was also made available in the private-purchase programme for primary vaccination since July last year.
Sinovac boosters are only provided under PICK for people who are allergic to Pfizer, the main recommended booster for everyone regardless of their primary course, or AstraZeneca.
Nearly 792,000 Sinovac boosters have been administered as of January 19, including to people who received a different primary vaccine.
Sinopharm was only made available in the private market last October. Just under 15,000 people in Malaysia have been fully vaccinated with Sinopharm, or 0.06 per cent of 25.7 million people.
Almost 5,000 Sinopharm boosters have been administered, including to those who received a different primary vaccine, as of January 19.