Syria: Fraud in Vaccine Centers, Cards Sold in Damascus

The vaccination campaign in Syria is subject to corruption and fraud, as vaccination cards are sold to unvaccinated citizens.

The pro-government al-Watan newspaper reported that the Criminal Security Branch in Tartous governorate has begun investigating a number of workers at the COVID-19 vaccine centers in the region, for alleged cases of fraud.  

The suspension of the workers for questioning followed a complaint from the Health Directorate about their suspected falsification of certificates proving that the vaccine had been received, without receiving it. 

Tartous Governor, Safwan Abu Saadi, said the governorate’s Criminal Security branch is working to identify those involved in vaccine centers who have given unvaccinated people forged documents proving that they had received the vaccine, in exchange for bribes and money. 

The governor continued in his remarks to the newspaper al-Watan, affiliated with the Syrian regime, that the criminal security branch arrested the workers in the vaccination center located in the Maternity Hospital in Tartous. 

The newspaper quoted an unnamed source at the hospital as saying that vaccine officials at the hospital were under interrogation because the center vaccinated the largest percentage of citizens.

Vaccine cards sold in Damascus

In Damascus (according to SY-24), COVID-19 vaccine cards are being sold to individuals who haven’t received any vaccine dose. 

“Those who receive a vaccine dose at specialized medical centers in the city’s neighborhoods get a vaccine card, proving that they have received the dose. This comes after a number of government departments stressed the need to receive the vaccine and obtain the card,” said an SY-24 correspondent in Damascus. 

Read Also: Syria Receives a Million Dose of anti-Coronavirus Vaccine from China

He added that these measures prompted a number of people to buy and falsify the card without actually receiving the dose, in exchange for a sum of money amounting to 200,000 Syrian pounds for each dose.”

The reason why people buy a fraudulent vaccine card and obtain it through bribery is that they are obliged to enter their work institutions or some government departments with the card. Their failure to obtain it prevents them from doing so.

He added that a large number of people are not convinced of the effectiveness of the vaccine, are not willing to receive it, and are afraid of it as well. However, they are forced to obtain the card to facilitate their daily transactions. 

New Vaccine in Idleb 

In Idleb, the director of the Syrian Vaccine Team, Rifaat al-Farhat, revealed the entry of a new COVID-19 vaccine to the north-western region of Syria, during an interview with al-Souria Net. He also sent a warning message to the residents of the region in light of their reluctance to receive the vaccine. 

Farhat said that his team had received a batch of Johnson & Johnson vaccines, and had not yet entered the vaccination operations in the region.

The number of COVID-19 vaccine teams in northwestern Syria increased in early 2022.

Farhat pointed out that the number increased from 35 mobile and fixed teams to 100 teams. 56 of these teams are active in the Idleb governorate, 34 mobile teams roam villages, towns, facilities, and health centers, and 22 fixed teams. The total teams cover the entire region.

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