Pharmacists have been asked to provide false vaccination records

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Pharmacy association chair says pharmacies are on the lookout for potential fraud.

Pharmacists have been asked by citizens to provide falsified vaccination records, according to the head of the province’s pharmacy association.

Diane Harpell, chair of the Pharmacy Association of Nova Scotia, said even her own staff were asked for a false record.

“One of my immunizers here in my pharmacy was actually asked by a patient to give them a record and offered to pay money,” Harpell said. “I’m not sure if it was a joke.”

“Obviously, we didn’t go ahead with it, but they did ask it and they ended up getting the vaccine and not going ahead with this plan.”

Harpell said most of the cases were earlier in the year but the issue has been discussed in the pharmacy community.

The association and the pharmacy regulator issued notices reminding pharmacy staff to check identification and informing people about what was required to prevent any potential fraud.

Harpell said it was “awful” that anyone would even think to ask for such a thing, and anyone asking should be aware that the pharmacist could risk losing their hard-earned licence and their livelihood.

Harpell said she wasn’t aware of any pharmacy team member who would even consider being a part of such a scheme. 

Heavy workload

Pharmacists have had an extremely heavy workload throughout the pandemic.

Pharmacists are now working to deliver booster shots.

Along with the COVID-19 vaccine, pharmacists are providing flu shots, and giving advise to people who are sick at home with COVID-19.

Harpell said she is fortunate to run her own business and makes her own decisions around staffing, but others are not in that position and are “experiencing a lot of exhaustion right now, a lot of burnout.”

Harpell wants to remind the public to be mindful of the workload pharmacists are dealing with and the contribution they are making to health care in the province.

“Understand that most of your pharmacy team members never really even had a Christmas break,” she said.

“People are just working right on through this so be kind to us, be patient and know that we’re doing our darndest.”

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