Unconfirmed reports of fraudulent COVID-19 vaccination in Saskatchewan

There are unconfirmed reports of fraudulent COVID-19 vaccination happening in Saskatchewan. Getty Images

Officials say there are unconfirmed reports of people fraudulently receiving COVID-19 vaccines in Saskatchewan.

During a briefing on Tuesday to discuss the province’s response to the pandemic, the presidents of the Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency (SPSA) and the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) confirmed hearing of these alleged instances.

“We are aware and have been made aware of some instances across the province where individuals are coming forward claiming that they’re vaccinating individuals for COVID-19 and these are fraudulent claims,” SHA president Scott Livingstone said.

“But at this point in time, I can’t tell you how prominent the problem is or what’s going on with respect to an investigation.

“I’m not aware of specific instances where we’re investigating and have found individuals or caught them red-handed doing so.”

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SPSA president Marlo Pritchard said there is a reporting mechanism in place and all complaints will be investigated.

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“We have heard … unconfirmed reports,” Pritchard said.

“Because this is a fraud, this becomes a criminal offence so we may partner with a local police service of jurisdiction and carry it on.

“I would encourage anybody, including the pharmacy employees, if they’re aware of situations that may be a fraud to utilize our (1-855-559-5502) line to report those incidences.”

The Saskatchewan College of Pharmacy Professionals (SCPP) provided a statement to Global News on Tuesday afternoon.

“SCPP does not have statistics or specific details on vaccine fraud incidents other than what we have confirmed through our health system partners that various forms of vaccine fraud have occurred within the province,” read SCPP registrar Jeana Wendel’s statement.

“Pharmacists are expected to ensure the right patient receives the right medication at the right time each and every time they interact with a patient. For vaccinations, this has been historically verified through standard processes and questions to the patient requesting the service.

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“With the high stakes involved around COVID vaccinations, the risk increases and as a precaution, SCPP extended the requirements found in our patient identification policy … The policy requires additional proof of identity through government-issued photo identification for all COVID-19 vaccinations for people 16 and over.”

Saskatchewan’s government has implemented public health orders that require proof of vaccination or negative tests to enter certain businesses and venues. The cost for all asymptomatic testing are the responsibility of the individual.

According to the government’s dashboard on Tuesday, the total number of vaccines administered in the province is 1,670,748 with 70,306 given as third or fourth doses.

Saskatchewan’s chief medical health officer, Dr. Saqib Shahab, said the province has just under 300,000 people, aged 12 and older, who are unvaccinated. 

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