Wednesday, May 18, 2022

More clinics report offers from anti-vaxxers looking to beat the system

One doctor says those who approach him for fake certificates are mostly well-educated urbanites.

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More doctors from private clinics have revealed being approached by so-called anti-vaxxers seeking fraudulent proof of full vaccination in exchange for payment, amid concern that many could be attempting to circumvent the system in order to enjoy the relaxed restrictions allowed to those who are fully inoculated against Covid-19.

Speaking to MalaysiaNow, the doctors who work at clinics in Selangor said anti-vaxxers or those who oppose being vaccinated against the highly contagious virus had resorted to bribing clinics in their attempts to obtain vaccine certificates.

One doctor, Dr Muhammad Muaz Mustapa, said he had received such a request from a woman who had accompanied her daughter to his clinic in Rawang.

“I was checking her daughter, and then the mother suddenly asked me if my clinic has Covid-19 vaccines.

“Then she asked me whether I could get a vaccine certificate for her without her getting the jab.”

Muaz said he had been taken aback by the question.

“When I asked why she did not want to get the jab, she said her husband had just passed away, two weeks after receiving his second shot of Sinovac vaccine,” he said.

Attempts to reach health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah for comment on the anti-vaxxers were unsuccessful.

MalaysiaNow recently reported that such incidents had taken place in other states as well, with Dr Steven Chow, president of the Federation of Private Medical Practitioners’ Association Malaysia, confirming that attempts had been made “to subvert the system”.

Individuals who are fully vaccinated are allowed greater freedom of movement, including permission to cross district borders for certain purposes and to participate in more social and economic activities.

Those who have completed the full vaccine regime are also allowed to dine in at restaurants and to resume religious activities at houses of worship.

Other social activities allowed include picnics, camping and certain non-contact sports.

Muaz said the woman at his clinic appeared to have needed a vaccination certificate in order to return to work.

“She was willing to pay the price as long as she got the certificate, but not the jab.

“I think she blamed the vaccine for causing her to become a single mother,” he said, adding that the daughter, who was 20 years old, had not been vaccinated either.

Dr Mohd Rahimie Sayutti from the Primer Cherang clinic chain said he too had seen such attempts by anti-vaxxers following the government’s announcement that SOPs would be relaxed for the fully jabbed.

He said there seemed to be two types of people who approach his clinics.

“The first type are those who want to get jabbed because they are concerned about the skyrocketing of cases we have seen in the past months.

“The second are those who are willing to fork out money to get the certificate without taking the jabs.”

Rahimie told MalaysiaNow the irony was that many from the second group appeared to be well educated and mostly resided in urban areas.

“They are educated and they have the money to do this,” he said.

He said he and his colleagues would try their best to educate those who are against vaccination.

“There are some who changed their minds and agreed to get their jabs, and there are those who refused to accept our explanation and went to try it elsewhere.

“I say, it’s the same everywhere because medical practitioners have ethics and we can’t do that.”

Muaz agreed that while anti-vaxxers might ask, it is the doctor’s responsibility to reject requests for fake vaccine certificates.

“It’s endangering public health,” he said. “It will increase the number of people who will become sick and die from Covid-19.”

Adding that such acts would create more time for variants such as Delta to spread, he said: “Instead of paying for a fake care, people should get a real one for free when they get the vaccine.

“That way, they are protected and they are protecting others.”

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