The sinister side of social media

Illicit exchange: A screenshot of the alleged purchase of fake Covid-19 vaccination certificates.

PETALING JAYA: Offers of Covid-19 vaccination certificates for sale, some as high as RM3,500, can be found online.

There is a market among the unvaccinated who are desperate to obtain the certificates due to strict requirements set by their employers and for those seeking to travel abroad.

Potential buyers can channel enquiries from clinics that provide “suntikan kosong” (empty jabs) found on social platforms such as Facebook and Telegram.

The potential buyers will be asked to provide their full name, identity card number and MySejahtera number to obtain digital certificates within seven to 14 days.

Those who buy in bundles of five or more will be given a discount.

The seller also guarantees that all information pertaining to the transaction will be kept private.

A check by The Star online saw a couple of sellers offering vaccination certificates.

A doctor, who wished to remain anonymous, told The Star that these certificates are genuine, and the only thing is that the buyers will not be getting are their jabs.

Explaining this, the source said, clinics authorised to administer Covid-19 jabs would be given access to the Malaysia Vaccine Administration System (MyVAS).

“It is easy to get the certificate, all the doctor needs to do is to register your particulars in the system and that’s it. You can get your physical and MySejahtera digital certificates straight away.

“If you log on to the system, everything will look the same, it will have the vaccine batch number, the clinics where they got the jabs and even the name of the doctor who administered the vaccination.“So if the police manage to find those who admit to buying their certificates, they can find the sellers using this information. But if there’s no proof of transactions and the buyers don’t admit to buying the certs, it will be very difficult to know who had obtained the certificates illegally,” the doctor said.

The source said doctors were only required to return empty vials to prove that the vaccination had been duly administered.

“There are many ways for them to cheat, the doctor can simply discard the vaccine and return the empty vials.

“The vaccination certificates are being sold in the market for only RM500,” the source said.

The Health Ministry, however, would be able to detect any abuse based on the number of vaccinations administered and stock delivered to the vaccination centres.

“For example, if a clinic received 1,000 vials of Pfizer, it can administer the vaccine to 6,000 people, but if they were to key in more in the system, say 6,050, this would raise suspicion,” the doctor said.

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