Coronavirus vaccine refusers are using a loophole in at least one vaccination center to register themselves as inoculated without actually getting the shots, thus making themselves eligible for the so-called Green Pass, according to a report on Thursday.
Channel 13 news reported that hundreds are believed to have used the breach in Bnei Brak.
Israel has applied the Green Pass system as a way to curb a surge in COVID-19 cases that has seen record daily cases. The document grants access to many public venues only for those who are vaccinated, have recovered from COVID-19, or have come out negative in a recent virus test.
Though in the minority, there is a significant anti-vaccination movement in Israel. Some one million eligible Israelis have not received a single shot.
According to the TV report, those aiming to get a Green Pass without inoculation have been exploiting arrangements at an Israel Defense Forces Home Front Command vaccination center in the central city of Bnei Brak.
After registering with their national identification number to get the shots, the scammers then head into the main area where the vaccinations are given. However, they then simply leave without getting the shots.
According to the report, the signing-in process is enough for them to be registered in their HMO as vaccinated even though they did not follow through and actually get the injection.
Hundreds of Home Front Command centers have been set up across the country to assist in the vaccination drive and give shots to members of all of the country’s HMOs.
Channel 13 reported that the Bnei Brak site in particular has become a magnet for those aiming to bypass inoculation to obtain a Green Pass. It was not clear whether the same breach exists at other centers.
A Channel 13 reporter was able to register for a third booster shot at the Bnei Brak site and then leave before getting the dose. The following morning the reporter checked with his HMO, which confirmed he had been registered as having gotten the third vaccine.
Health Ministry figures released on Thursday showed that there were 11,246 new COVID-19 cases diagnosed the day before, the highest ever caseload in the country since the pandemic began last year.
The number of serious cases — increasingly seen as a more crucial metric since vaccines are more effective in preventing serious illness than in preventing infections — stood at 673. On Sunday, that number was at 753.
So far, 5,496,821 people, out Israel’s population of 9.5 million, have had at least two vaccination doses, of which 2,392,506 have had three shots.
Since the start of the outbreak last year, 1,094,596 have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in Israel, and 7,122 have died of the virus.