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Homeless and Vulnerable People in British Columbia and Alberta Paid to Take COVID 19 Vaccines for Others

Homeless and vulnerable people in British Columbia and Alberta have been approached with offers of payment to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by those who attempted to fraudulently obtain a vaccination card.

Vancouver Coastal Health said Thursday that those approached had been asked to get the vaccine while falsely using that person’s name and information.

“This behavior is deplorable and we are disappointed that anyone who takes advantage of vulnerable people in this way to try to bypass the process of obtaining a BC vaccine card,” the health authority said in a statement.

“Future cases of fraud can be referred to local law enforcement authorities for follow-up. “

In Alberta, Linda Pires-Relvas, a nurse at an Edmonton community center, said a client told her in December that a stranger had approached for a shot.

Pires-Relvas works at Boyle Street Community Services, a charity that works with homeless people in Edmonton.

“The client herself said someone approached her to get the vaccine using that person’s health card in exchange for a payment of $ 100,” she said.

Other friends of hers were also approached and given multiple doses of the vaccine for different people, Pires-Relvas said.

Outreach volunteers provide help to the homeless on a -20C night in Calgary, Alta., Dec. 14, 2021. (Jeff McIntosh / The Canadian Press)

Pires-Relvas said she was concerned about possible side effects these people had from taking more than the recommended doses. She said it also shows indifference to those already struggling in the community.

“They don’t want to be vaccinated for whatever reason, but ignore the health and potential harm of vulnerable people,” she said.

Edmonton Police Investigate

The Edmonton Police Department has confirmed it is investigating the allegation, which was reported earlier this year.

Alberta Health Services said in a statement that although serious side effects are rare with COVID-19 vaccines, the risk increases if doses are given within a short period of time.

People who receive their vaccines must provide identification, including an Alberta Medicare number, driver’s license, social insurance number, birth certificate, or passport.

If someone does not have a government issued ID, other methods can be used.

Fraudulent vaccine records deleted, according to health authority

In December, British Columbia health officials said COVID-19 vaccination records that entered the provincial registry and suspected of being fraudulent were being reported to police.

British Columbia RCMP have said they have no reports of homeless people being approached by strangers and offering money to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Vancouver police did not immediately respond to a call for comment.

Vancouver Coastal Health said it has “successfully put measures in place to thwart” people’s attempts to get vulnerable people to get vaccinated for them. She did not specify these measures.

“Fraudulent vaccination records are removed from the provincial vaccination registry and British Columbia vaccination cards are revoked,” he said.