Daydreaming about how you can play the system to get your vaccine early? Well, that’s exactly what a group of Dutch students have done. Dozens of students in the Netherlands have been able to get an early coronavirus vaccination by pretending they have a high-risk medical condition.
Young people with certain medical conditions have started receiving invitations for their vaccinations. Since the beginning of May, this includes any adult who usually would receive the flu vaccine as well as anyone with a chronic heart conditions; chronic kidney conditions; conditions that affect your lungs or airways (including some forms of asthma); and diabetes.
These were the medical issues that some young people were claiming to have in order to jump the vaccine queue.
No proof needed
Some individuals who did this told de Volkskrant that it was easier than expected to pretend to have a pre-existing condition. They said that the GGD didn’t require them to provide any proof of a medical condition when making their appointments.
Despite this cheating of the system, the GGD has said that it isn’t going to change its working methods. It claims that the system must remain “low threshold,” and there are only a handful of fraudulent health claims for the vaccine.
Instructions via WhatsApp
“Don’t you have a vaccination yet? It is super easy to arrange,” is a message that has been circulating in WhatsApp groups. The messages provide young people with instructions on how to claim they have a medical condition. Students are also assured that the GDD won’t check whether they really have the claimed condition.
Expense of PCR tests
A 22-year-old student in Amsterdam told de Volkskrant that the price of PCR tests was his reason for wanting to skip the queue. He said “such a test costs at least 85 euros. If you want to travel during the summer holidays, that’s bullshit.”
A 28-year-old government worker said that he skipped the queue because he had waited long enough for a vaccine.
Several young people also cited the low turnout for vaccine appointments as a reason to push ahead. One individual claims that this is a way of speeding up the vaccination programme in the Netherlands since many of the called age groups are afraid of getting the vaccine.
A spokesperson from the GGD said the fact that people pushing ahead of the queue is “very annoying”, but overall it’s a “calculated risk.” They claim that GGD employees will be urged to ask for invitation letters and corresponding papers in the future.
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Feature Image: IgorVetushko/Deposit Photos