The Terengganu Police has arrested a 51-year-old doctor at a private clinic over the alleged sale of fake COVID-19 vaccine certificates. The police had raided a private clinic in Marang and it is reported that over 1,900 certificates were issued. The police are working closely with the Ministry of Health to determine how many certificates were issued without administrating the vaccine.
Terengganu Police chief Datuk Rohaimi Md Isa said the sale of fake vaccine certificates had started in September 2021 and the doctor was charging between RM400 to RM600 per certificate. Typically, the COVID-19 vaccine costs RM300 on the private market, while vaccines under the National Immunisation Programme are still offered for free.
Dr Rohaimi said he believed individuals outside of Terengganu had also sought the doctor’s services to issue fake certificates. It was reported that the doctor had communicated with customers online and they are trying to obtain more details from the confiscated computers. The doctor is said to have paid agents RM50 commission for promoting the vaccine certificate service.
Bernama reported that the doctor has admitted to being an anti-vaxxer and has acted alone without the involvement of other staff at the clinic. Despite being an anti-vaxxer, the doctor has been vaccinated probably due to occupation requirements. Terengganu Health Department director Dr Kasemani Embong revealed that the clinic had started selling COVID-19 vaccines since September. Checks revealed that the clinic had applied to be a vaccination centre (PPV) but the application wasn’t approved yet. Therefore, they could only offer paid vaccination using Sinovac vaccines.
The investigation is still ongoing and the doctor’s license could be revoked if found guilty. The sale of fake vaccine certificates is a serious crime and it sabotages existing COVID-19 measures which restrict certain activities to individuals who are fully vaccinated. Malls, commercial premises, sporting venues, and even restaurants are not allowing entry to individuals without a fully vaccinated status. A vaccine exemption may be granted for genuine health reasons and the exemption certificiate can be applied via MySejahtera.
It was recently revealed that 14% of Umrah returnees who were infected by the COVID-19 Omicron variant were actually unvaccinated. This raises a huge concern as only fully individuals are allowed to travel overseas and it is also a requirement by the Saudi Arabia government.
Based on the latest data in Malaysia, the Institute of Clinical Research has revealed that an unvaccinated person has a 62x higher risk of COVID-19 death compared to a fully vaccinated individual who has received boosters. The risk of infection is 9 times higher among the unvaccinated compared to those who have been boosted.
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