The issue of the sale of fake vaccination cards in the face of the proposed rollout of safe zones at government offices is worrisome and downright dangerous.
It is disheartening and indeed concerning that adults who are refusing to take the vaccines for all sorts of reasons, would so try to deceive their employers while aiding and abetting lawbreakers by encouraging the sale of these false vaccination cards.
For the many public officers who may be tempted to go the route of participating in the scam, not only are there legal consequences but health consequences as well.
One example is that of an office with public officers showing up to work unvaccinated but proudly displaying their newly purchased vaccination cards. If just one among them has COVID-19 and spreads it, whose purpose would it have served by the possession of a card, being unvaccinated and placing one's family in harm's way?
Every action has a reaction and every decision has a consequence.
Why encourage those who have found a way to make a quick buck off those foolish enough to think they are fooling anybody but themselves?
There had been reports of fake vaccination cards in circulation in recent months.
Last September two people were arrested in connection with the scam. But on the brink of the public sector safe zone plan, Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh has met with police to discuss a crackdown on fake vaccination cards, which are being sold for anywhere between $800 to $1,800.
One must juxtapose the price for a vaccine card against the number of T&T nationals who have died from COVID-19 which now numbers over 3,000 according to official Ministry of Health data.
If that does not paint a picture of the reality of the impact of the virus on T&T we don't know what will.
So far since vaccinations began early last year 674,197 people in T&T have been fully vaccinated.
The government is now offering booster shots and according to the Ministry of Health data so far just over 88,000 people have received them.
Whether you take the vaccine or not is a personal choice.
But that choice should not compromise other people. Buying fake cards to escape being furloughed cannot be fair to people who have made the choice to get vaccinated.
The authorities owe it to those who make the choice to get vaccinated, to do what is required to ensure that false vaccination cards do not make their way into government offices.
In September last year, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley announced safe zones for a number of private businesses including cinemas, bars, restaurants and others, allowing fully vaccinated people to gather within limits with effect from October 11.
At that time Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister Stuart Young explained that patrons would be required to walk with their vaccination cards to be allowed entry. But he also announced then that the Ministry of Health along with the Ministry of Digital Transformation would produce digital vaccination cards, with a possible rollout in four to six weeks.
It's now long overdue and there has been no explanation on why. We are now in January 2022, and still to see the rollout of those digital vaccination cards.
We hope this would happen soon and that cards will have the relevant security features to eliminate scammers by rendering the fake cards useless.
A stop must be put to those who further endanger citizens from a virus that is already wreaking havoc on families.