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Covid-19: Extra ID needed after people pretend to be health workers to get the jab

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Covid-19: Extra ID needed after people pretend to be health workers to get the jab

Photo by Reuters

25th February 2021

By: News24Wire

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Some people have fraudulently tried to pass themselves off as healthcare workers to get the Covid-19 vaccine.

The Western Cape Department of Health said this had been detected in some other provinces.

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"That is completely unacceptable," said Dr Saadiq Kariem, the department's COO, during its weekly digicon on Covid-19.

As a preventative measure in the province, healthcare workers will need to present a staff card, or some proof of registration when they arrive for their vaccinations.

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This emerged after some fraudulent registrations for the vaccine were detected.

Further information was not immediately available.

Kariem said the Western Cape had a list of people expected at the vaccine site on the eve of each vaccination session, so it could check that those receiving the vaccine were legitimate.

Other problems experienced included a proclivity by vaccine staff to use paper-based record keeping, which meant there were some delays in getting the data on vaccinations into the computer system, some vial refilling problems and complaints about vaccinators not wearing gloves.

South Africa's use of the Johnson & Johnson single dose Janssen vaccine candidate for the final phase of a "real world" trial began at the Groote Schuur, Tygerberg and Khayelitsha District hospitals last week. Karl Bremer Hospital's vaccination programme went online on Tuesday.

The City of Cape said it was also starting with its healthcare workers on Wednesday.

Councillor Zahid Badroodien said continued tranches of the vaccine would arrive in two-weekly intervals until the end of March 2021, with the second tranche expected to arrive in the province on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Dr Sa'ad Lahli, one of the first healthcare workers to be vaccinated at the Khayelitsha District Hospital last week, said apart from some pain on his arm, he had experienced no side effects.

"Others had fever and muscle ache that went away."

He added: "There is no chip being implanted in me. Government is not trying to track me or anything like that."

To dispel concerns about vaccinators not wearing gloves, Lahli said it was accepted practice internationally to not wear gloves for vaccinations.

The vaccinator's hands are sterilised as is the vaccination site.

Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo said it was also safer and avoided a vaccinator forgetting to change gloves between vaccinations, and the gloves building up dirt.

Recipients will be monitored for two years, as consideration of final approval for the vaccine is still underway by the US Food and Drug Administration and the SA Health Products Regulatory Authority.

The second phase of the trials on the vaccine found it would be safe to use.

Department head Keith Cloete previously stated the production of vaccines was faster than usual because different stages of trials ran parallel to each other, instead of separately in the past, given the global health crisis.

Kariem said all indicators relating to Covid-19 monitoring showed apart from the Klipfontein area of Cape Town, where there was an increase in cases, the second wave was over.

However, the relatively low number of new cases and the hope of a vaccine should not make people drop their guard on non-medical interventions like mask wearing, avoid crowded and congested places, social distancing and hand washing.

The study of waste water treatment plants also found no traces of Covid-19 at 17 sites.

However, while hospitalisations had decreased, there are still 1 316 Covid patients in acute care in the Western Cape with 758 patients in public hospitals and 558 in private ones.  The third wave is expected when the seasons start changing to winter, which is typically from March to April.

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