Information Minister calls for understanding over vax card delays

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Information Minister Melford Nicholas
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The Minister of Information Melford Nicholas has addressed complaints of delays in accessing vaccination cards.

Many residents have taken to the airwaves and social media bemoaning delays in receiving their cards after making an application.

Nicholas told the media during Thursday’s post-Cabinet press briefing that not only is he aware of the situation, but he has also fielded several complaints.

However, the minister said the issue comes down to “managing the expectations” of the public on the turnaround time for the cards that are needed for entry into bars, clubs, restaurants and entertainment spots.

He explained that each card takes about seven to ten minutes to produce, but there are also factors to consider.

“Before the cards are produced, the operators are required to ensure that there are no fraudulent activities associated with the presentation of the original written vaccination certificates, and they also have to do a match as well with what is in the system, and if there are any discrepancies, they have to escalate within Ministry of Health to ensure that all of these measures are taking place,” he explained.

To date, over 26,000 Covid-19 vaccination cards have been produced by the Ministry of Information’s outfit.

However, Minister Nicholas also revealed that there are about 2122 email applications pending which would have “come in within the last few days.”

“We have the capacity to produce upwards of a thousand cards per day, but again, that is going on the basis that there are no issues in relation to reconciliation that has to be done,” he added.

He also indicated that there are also individuals who submit multiple applications within the same email which also takes some time to ferret through as well.

Nicholas explained further that in these cases, where a group of applications is submitted by one person, individuals may request information on their cards using their own name instead of the email under which the application was sent, which may lead to miscommunication on the status of cards.

Using the email through which the vaccine cards were presented, individuals can now contact [email protected] to get an update on the status of cards.

Meanwhile, the information minister said his team has made significant headway in reducing the backlog of about 4,000 uncollected cards reported in recent weeks, to what he describes as a day’s work.

He is appealing for the public’s understanding in the matter, since the scrutinising process allows for the identification of fraudulent activity.

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