A breach has allowed potentially thousands of people to skip the queue and receive their coronavirus vaccinations ahead of schedule.
Coronavirus vaccinations have been available to approximately 700,000 healthcare workers in the Netherlands since January. Because of this, some healthcare institutions have had samples of the invitation letter for healthcare workers available on their websites.
Speed at the expense of security
However, the urgency with which the vaccination system had to be set up has meant that at times the security of the system has been secondary. As a result, the invitation letter is a generic Microsoft Word document that can be found on Google and easily adapted. People only need to modify the name in the letter and then can make a booking for a shot, reports RTL Nieuws.
This method of jumping the queue for vaccinations has proven effective as there are only limited checks at the vaccination sites. As long as the name on the ID card matches the name on the invitation, the person is cleared to receive their shot.
The availability of invitation letters has spurred an online black market, with letters being sold for around €50 to vaccine-hopefuls.
An updated booking system for healthcare workers
As a result of the revelations made by RTL Nieuws, the GGD has taken action to make the vaccination booking process for healthcare workers more secure. Healthcare workers who have received an invitation letter must now make a phone call (instead of booking online) to reserve their vaccination slot.
Planning on Googling for a letter? Hold your horses: the letters have now reportedly been removed from the internet. But don’t fret, the government maintains that every person over 18 who wants to be vaccinated should receive their first shot by July.
Who do you think is more at fault: the GGD or the queue-jumpers? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!
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