Category : News
Author: Luke Malpass and Sam Sherwood

Police have been warned that people may be assuming other’s identities and getting Covid-19 vaccinations on their behalf.

Stuff understands police are investigating at least one incident where a person is believed to have got vaccinated for another person.

A Ministry of Health spokesperson told Stuff that staff at the Covid-19 vaccine and immunisation programme had advised police of the scam.

Some people have been getting Covid jabs on behalf of others, but Ministry of Health says strengthening the identification process before someone gets a vaccination may risk reducing participation.

“Medical practitioners operate in a high-trust environment and rely on people to act in good faith to share information accurately to assist with their treatment.

“To assume another person's identity and receive a medical treatment is dangerous.

“This puts at risk the person who receives a vaccination under an assumed identity and the person whose health record will show they have been vaccinated when they have not.”

A person who received a vaccination under someone else’s name would not have the vaccination on their own personal health record.

“This could affect how their health is managed in the future.

“The same will apply to a person who is recorded as having received a vaccination – their personal health records would reflect they were vaccinated when they weren’t.

“Therefore if they presented with any symptoms or illnesses a medical professional would be working with inaccurate health records.

“Having an inaccurate vaccination status not only puts you at risk, it puts your friends, whānau and community at risk, and the healthcare teams that treat you now in the future.”

The spokesperson said strengthening the identification process before someone got a vaccination may risk reducing participation and “work directly against our goal of vaccinating as many people as possible”.

“People who do not have a form of photo identification are disproportionately people in vulnerable groups – homeless or transient, the elderly, the young, people with disabilities – and we don’t want to create barriers to their vaccination.”

A police spokeswoman said if police received a report of someone getting vaccinated on behalf of another person it would be “taken seriously”, but declined to comment further.

A spokesman for Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said he had been advised if people were getting vaccinated on behalf of others the frequency of such incidents was at an “extremely low level”.

Note from Nighthawk.NZ:

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