MOH urges printing companies to stop illegal activity
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Police have launched an investigation into reports of fake coronavirus vaccination cards that falsely claim the cardholder has been vaccinated abroad.
The ministry advised in a statement on Monday that it was made aware that some printing companies and other entities have been producing cards that fraudulently state the cardholder has been vaccinated in another country.
The cards also falsely claim to have been issued by legitimate authorities in The Bahamas, according to the statement.
Minister of Health Dr Michael Darville said yesterday that there is an ongoing investigation into the matter.
He also put out a warning to companies that may be participating in the illegal activity.
“We want all print companies who are producing cards, and if they are involved in this kind of activity, to stop immediately because it was referred to the Royal Bahamas Police Force,” he said.
During the early months of the COVID-19, thousands of citations were issued for violations of the COVID-19 emergency orders, including forged COVID-19 tests.
Darville couldn’t indicate how many fraudulent cards have been discovered.
“We found some irregularities and we are investigating,” he said.
“I don’t think it’s a large amount, but what we have to do is we have to nip it in the bud right away because a lot of people who may be doing it may not realize it’s against the law to manipulate a card from a foreign jurisdiction [and] adopt the Commonwealth of The Bahamas’ seal on the card.”
He added: “It was brought to my attention through the vaccination committee, and immediately we moved swiftly to report it to the appropriate authorities.
“…It may be a very minor thing or as well as it may be more complicated than we anticipate.
“I’ve spoken to our team and they are on top of it.
“It didn’t affect our data in [any] particular way.”
As of February 26, there were 161,916 people fully vaccinated in the country, including those who took the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine and those who reported being fully vaccinated abroad.
The ministry recorded 11 new COVID cases on Monday, including seven on New Providence, two on Abaco and one each on Crooked Island and Grand Bahama.
The ministry also reclassified thousands of COVID-19 cases as “recovered” rather than “active” after conducting a data-cleaning exercise based on emerging scientific data regarding when a positive patient is able to transmit the infection to others.
As a result, the number of active cases as of Monday dropped from 5,934 to 254.