In something that isn’t all too surprising because Zimbabwe is a dumpster fire, the QR code in your COVID-19 vaccination card when scanned will give you a “QR Code Not Found” error.
We tried it on our end and were baffled as to why this is because the QR was the much-touted security feature that the government had put in the vaccination cards in order to fight the black market for these documents.
If you recall, earlier this month the Zimbabwe Democracy Institute (ZDI) said in a report that these cards were being stolen at public health facilities. The reasons for this are because health care professionals are so poorly remunerated and that there are those who don’t want the vaccine but want access to places that require the document.
Anyway, while we were scanning our COVID vaccination cards QR codes, we then saw comments on social media saying that for your QR Code to register online you have to go to the Ministry of Health with your ID or passport to get the information loaded.
Now, this sounded off because when you get vaccinated, you give the facility all your information. The recording of this information, at least when I got the jab, was written in a register of sorts and I thought that the info was then relayed to the Ministry to be uploaded in their digital records.
So to find out what was happening and if the reports on social media were true, we reached out to the Ministry of Health because I and many people I have spoken to were not told of this extra step.
Now, this wasn’t as straightforward as we thought it was going to be because we were bounced around to departments that were unavailable. We then returned to the representative we had initially spoken to and asked the simple question “do we need to go to the Ministry of Health to get our vaccination cards verified?” and the answer was in the affirmative.
Only in Zimbabwe…
It appears (at least from our initial enquiries) that the Ministry of Health was ill-prepared for the vaccine rollout. We are now several months into the process and we just recently got a security measure for the vaccine cards. Worse still those who got vaccinated before the QR Code was put in the cards need to go back and get issued a new card.
Why should it be incumbent on the taxpayer to verify his/her vaccine card? We are constantly being told to be mindful of public health measures but it appears that we should all congregate in an office somewhere to log information into the Ministry’s system.
What has the Ministry of Health been doing all this time? Surely the only way to combat vaccine card fraud is to have a robust digital registry that anyone can verify at any time.
Furthermore, is information logging being done everywhere in Zimbabwe? If not, then will those in rural and remote areas have to trudge to their “nearest” Ministry of Health office or assigned facility to repeat a process that really should really have been done at the point of vaccination?
I guess we will have to wait to hear from those with all the answers…
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