Sask. people paid others to get vaccinated fraudulently on their behalf, according to a group of pharmacists

A vaccine fraud has occurred in Saskatchewan, with an unknown number of people paying others to take their places during the vaccination process, according to a professional body representing pharmacists in the province.

The Saskatchewan College of Pharmacy Professionals (SCPP) “has confirmed vaccine fraud in Saskatchewan”, according to a SCPP note of October 19 to approved pharmacists obtained by CBC News.

“Individuals pay others to be vaccinated under their name, using their health card.

In an emailed statement to CBC News, college registrar Jeana Wendel said the organization had no statistics, but had “confirmed through our health system partners that various forms of vaccine fraud have occurred in the province. “

Saskatchewan Health Minister Paul Merriman speaks to reporters in the Legislative Assembly Rotunda on November 2, 2021. (Adam Hunter / CBC)

Health Minister Paul Merriman said on Tuesday he hoped people would not resort to such methods.

“I would be very disappointed if anyone did that,” he said.

“The best choice is to be able to have the vaccine in your arm. It is to keep you healthy. These vaccines are very valuable.”

Pharmacists toughen up identification procedures

In light of the “significant issues related to COVID-19 vaccinations,” Wendel said pharmacists have tightened their identity verification procedures.

For vaccinations, identification has historically been verified “using standard processes and questions to the patient requesting the service,” she said.

But the college is requiring pharmacists to make sure COVID-19 vaccinated patients aged 16 and over provide government-issued photo ID to prove their identity.

CBC asked when this change was made, as Wendel’s statement did not specify.

Province can partner with local police

Scott Livingstone, CEO of the Saskatchewan Health Authority, was asked about the SCPP memo during a COVID-19 press briefing on Tuesday.

“We are aware and have been made aware of some cases across the province where individuals show up claiming that they are vaccinating individuals against COVID-19 and these are fraudulent claims,” ​​he said. .

“But at this point, I can’t tell you how important the problem is. I’m not aware of any specific instances where we are investigating and found individuals or have caught them doing so.”

Marlo Pritchard, president of the Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency, said the province had heard “unconfirmed reports” of vaccine fraud.

He encouraged anyone, including pharmacy workers, to call the province’s dedicated toll-free line at 1 855 559-5502 to report such incidents or situations.

“We are going to investigate them because it is a fraud,” he said. “It becomes a criminal offense, so we can partner with the relevant local police department and continue.”

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