Iraqi forces arrest 12 people for selling vaccine cards

File – A medical employee stamps a vaccine card

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Iraqi security forces arrested 12 people for selling coronavirus vaccine cards in Diyala province, Iraq’s military said on Sunday.

Iraqi security media cell said the national security agency received information from citizens about a group of people who are selling vaccine cards in the governorate of Diyala.

The security forces “were able to arrest 12 people accused of selling coronavirus vaccine cards to citizens without taking the vaccine,” it said in a tweet.

“They confessed they received large sums of money in exchange for selling the vaccine cards,” it added.

The sale of vaccine cards come as most Iraqis are reluctant to receive a coronavirus vaccine.

The humanitarian organization CARE in Iraq said in a study which it published in August that the main blockers were fear of side effects, misinformation about the effectiveness as well as logistical challenges around the vaccination process.

Following a decline in vaccination turnout, the ministry of health a World Health Organization launched a national COVID-19 mass vaccination campaign in November, targeted 12 million people in the country including Kurdistan.

The number of people to have received two doses reached 8.8 million in Iraq, a country with a 40-million strong population.

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