KEY POINTS

  • The family of a deceased 67-year-old in India got a confirmation text, saying the woman had received her second vaccine dose
  • A complete vaccination certificate was also generated under her name on India's national vaccine registry
  • Local health officials have since started an investigation into the peculiar incident

Health authorities in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu have launched an investigation after a local family allegedly received a message over the weekend saying a deceased member had received their COVID-19 vaccine months after their death.

Relatives of the unnamed 67-year-old woman from Coimbatore discovered that her registered mobile number received a confirmation Saturday claiming she had been successfully jabbed with the second dose of the coronavirus vaccine, newspaper The Hindu reported.

However, the woman died of a heart attack on Aug. 9 after receiving the first dose of the vaccine on July 27, according to the outlet.

The family members checked the woman's vaccination status on the Indian government's national COVID-19 vaccine registry, CoWIN, and discovered a complete vaccination certificate had been generated under the woman's name.

The downloaded certificate from the CoWIN portal claimed the woman's dose came from the Urban Primary Health Centre in the Telungupalayam area.

Before receiving the text confirmation, a health worker called the deceased woman's registered mobile number and said it was time for her next vaccine shot. However, a family member informed the worker of the woman's passing.

The Health Wing of the Coimbatore Municipal Corporation — the civic body governing the city — has since launched an inquiry into the incident.

News of the deceased woman's family receiving a vaccine confirmation came as health workers in India claimed people were being officially registered as fully vaccinated without actually receiving both doses due to pressure to meet government targets.

The Indian government missed its deadline of vaccinating the entire population by the end of 2021. Around 75% of the adult population have received two doses, according to official statistics.

However, the figures were being manipulated, with about 20% to 35% of people in some urban areas having falsely registered as being fully vaccinated. The figure for rural areas, meanwhile, could be as high as 40% to 60%.

People who did not attend vaccine appointments were allegedly able to falsely register their second vaccine doses by using personal records from their first dose and opting to bypass a code sent to their mobile phone.

"There is no technical glitch. The issue is the unprecedented pressure on us to increase the number of vaccinated people," a health worker from the state of Uttar Pradesh said.

India has reported a total of 41,630,885 COVID-19 cases and 497,975 virus-related deaths, according to data provided by the World Health Organization.

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Representation. The family of a deceased 67-year-old woman in India discovered that the nation's COVID-19 registry claimed the woman had been fully vaccinating despite her dying last year. Pixabay
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