Unscrupulous health professionals are making a killing from selling COVID-19 vaccination cards to employees, university and college students desperate to get admitted back to various learning institutions reports The Independent.
Several tertiary institutions across the country now require students to be either fully vaccinated or be in possession of a valid PCR test result taken 48 hours prior, to be allowed entrance to university or college campuses.
Investigations by the publication last week revealed that the vaccination cards are being sold for between US$15 and US$20 each.
Are you in Zimbabwe?
Read Pindula News without data on your phone on freedata.pindula.co.zw
Only Applicable to Econet lines
The cards will also be having all the required details including the type of vaccine administered, its batch number, and dates where the vaccinated person allegedly took the jab.
Students argue that while those selling them are making a killing, the price is financially viable considering the charges for a PCR test.
Laboratories are charging US$30 for a PCR test while others like Cimas require US$60 for the same test.
The vaccination card selling syndicate appears tightly knit involving a web of officials from bureaucrats in the Ministry of Health and Childcare to those in charge of operations at vaccination centres.
The Zimbabwe Independent reported a source in the Ministry of Health and Child Care as saying that the practice is rampant in the health department. Said the source:
So rampant is the practice that even those not really connected within the system are also partaking in it. However, many of these ‘unfortunate’ ones are sloppy and end up getting arrested.
These are the individuals you write about in your papers when they are picked up by police, giving a façade that people are serious about dealing with the problem when in actual fact they are the ones who are fuelling it for their selfish benefit.
Chief coordinator of the national response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the Office of the President and Cabinet Agnes Mahomva said she was not in a position to comment on the issue. Said Mahomva:
You need to talk to the Ministry of Health and Child Care because what you are inquiring about is an administrative issue.
As a task force, we have various sub-committees we work with that are responsible for dealing with COVID-19 related issues and these are headed by different ministries.
The one you made reference to is best dealt with by a subcommittee headed by the Health ministry.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed that hundreds of vaccinations cards went missing at various health centres across the country.