If you are caught selling or receiving a falsified Covid-19 vaccination card, you will be prosecuted and face a penalty of seven years in prison.
So said Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh yesterday, when asked about rumours of forged immunisation cards being sold.
Speaking during yesterday’s virtual news conference, Deyalsingh said the Ministry of Health is taking these rumours very seriously and the ministry had received certain “whistle-blower information” which is being forwarded to the police for their attention.
Police yesterday confirmed the matter was being investigated.
According to Deyalsingh, “There has been chatter about the sale of vaccination cards, which we have heard. We take the chatter very seriously, because it may be more than rumour, it may be more than chatter. What we did when we got wind of that we immediately revisited the way we distribute vaccination cards.
“What we have been doing over the past week or two is administering vaccination cards on a morning to all sites in tandem with the number of vaccines. So if a site is getting 100 vaccines a day, you get 100 cards per day. So that is one mitigation strategy. Then at the end of the day, when we reconcile vaccines administered, we reconcile with cards.”
Deyalsingh warned that both persons selling and purchasing forged cards will be subject to imprisonment.
“Any person who, with intent to defraud or deceive, forges any document whatsoever, having thereupon or affixed thereto, the stamp or impression of the Public Seal of Trinidad and Tobago or the Seal of the President is liable to imprisonment for life,” Deyalsingh said, quoting from the Forgery Act Chap 11:13.
“Section 5(3)(i) speaks to imprisonment for a period of seven years for the forgery of any certificate, declaration or order under any written law relating to vaccination or to the registration of births or deaths, you commit an offence.
“So, a couple files brought forward with information from a very concerned whistle-blower are actually on the way to the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service for their action. And if proved to be valid, those persons will go before the courts and be imprisoned for seven years. We are taking this seriously,” he added.