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Watch out for these coronavirus vaccine scams – CNET

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Don’t fall for these COVID-19 vaccine-related scams.


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For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO website.

Despite its many tribulations, 2020 ended on a high note: Two COVID-19 vaccines became available in December (and a third followed shortly, becoming available in January). But with the vaccine rollout came many myths and fear, and now, scams

Coronavirus scams are nothing new — the FBI halted hundreds of coronavirus scams in 2020, from fake cures to charity drives — but 2021 opened with a number of scams related to the vaccine directly. 

The FBI released a warning letter to the public on Dec. 21, encouraging people to stay vigilant and beware of vaccine scams, like these eight that have been circulating.

Read more: COVID-19 side effects: What we know so far

Scam: Paying for priority access

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Priority groups have already been determined by the federal government.


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The federal government has outlined the vaccine rollout schedule, and there’s no way to jump the line. You can’t pay to skip ahead of health care professionals, long-term care facility residents and workers, senior adults, educators, firefighters, police officers, agricultural workers and other essential workers in priority groups. 

Protect yourself: Ignore unsolicited emails, texts and phone calls asking you to pay for priority access to a COVID-19 vaccine. Don’t click on online advertisements, event pages or other web pages that promise priority access for a fee. 

Scam: Scheduling appointments through Eventbrite and other platforms

While you may have to schedule an appointment for your COVID-19 vaccine when the time comes for you to get it, it won’t happen through Eventbrite or other event platforms. Scammers may steal your personal information when you submit it through signup forms. 

Protect yourself: When it’s time for you to get the vaccine, call the health care facility you plan to go to. Make an appointment over the phone if needed. 

Scam: Paying out-of-pocket for the vaccine

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You shouldn’t have to pay out-of-pocket for the COVID-19 vaccine.


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The COVID-19 vaccine is expected to be free to everyone in the US, whether or not you have health insurance. You shouldn’t pay for the vaccine, nor should you expect a surprise bill after the fact, because the federal government has written into law that the vaccine will pose no cost to Americans. 

You might get a bill for a vaccine administration fee or other copay, but it’s unclear whether those fees are required to be paid in full by insurance companies or by reimbursement funds. If you request other medical services at the time of your vaccine appointment, you may be required to pay for those services or request reimbursement from your insurance. 

Protect yourself: If you’re being asked to pay for the vaccine, especially ahead of time, don’t. If you get a bill in error, call your provider, explain the issue and explore your reimbursement options. 

Scam: Requiring a virus test or antibody test before getting the vaccine

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You don’t need proof of a COVID-19 test to get the vaccine.


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You don’t need proof of a COVID-19 virus test or an antibody test to get the vaccine. However, scammers have made an opportunity out of this as well, and are contacting people via phone, text and email requesting that people purchase and take a test. Advertisements of this nature are popping up online, too. 

Protect yourself: There’s no requirement to take a COVID-19 test or antibody test before getting the COVID-19 vaccine, so ignore any phone calls, text messages, emails or advertisements that tell you to do so.

Scam: Paying to put your name on a waiting list

While there is technically a waiting list for COVID-19 vaccine doses, you don’t have to pay to get on it — everyone already is, starting with high-risk and high-priority people. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, expects the vaccine to become available to the general public around midsummer to early fall in 2021, Forbes reports, so if you’re not in a priority group as described in the vaccine rollout plan, don’t expect to get your vaccine before then unless public health officials say otherwise.

Protect yourself: Ignore requests to pay a fee to get on a COVID-19 vaccine waitlist and don’t provide personal or financial information to anyone asking you to do this. If you call a health care facility to register to get the vaccine, they may put you on a waitlist, but should not charge a fee.  

Scam: Getting the dose shipped to you for a fee

The vaccine isn’t being shipped anywhere except to medical centers and pharmacies involved in the rollout. You cannot get the COVID-19 vaccine shipped to your home, and any advertisement that promises to do this is fake. Scammers may collect your personal or financial information this way.

Protect yourself: Knowing that you can’t receive a COVID-19 vaccine anywhere other than a pharmacy or medical facility, don’t attempt to get a vaccine shipped to your home. 

Scam: Emails, text messages and phone calls from fake vaccine centers and insurance companies

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Don’t give any information to an unsolicited caller or texter promising anything about a COVID-19 vaccine.


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You may receive an unsolicited message or call from someone claiming to work for a vaccine center, pharmacy or insurance company. These scammers might ask for personal and medical information to find out if you’re eligible to receive the vaccine — but everyone is eligible to receive the vaccine, just at different times.  

Protect yourself: Ignore phone calls and text messages from unfamiliar numbers. Don’t open suspicious emails and definitely don’t click any links or provide personal information. Also, when it’s time for you to get the vaccine, only go to a reputable pharmacy or health care facility

Scam: Online ads for vaccine doses from unofficial sources

Scammers are advertising COVID-19 vaccines as if a vaccine is any other product you can order online. Any advertisement that doesn’t come from an official public health source is likely attempting to lead you to a phishing website where scammers can steal your personal or financial information. 

Protect yourself: Ignore any ads from unofficial sources. Official public health sources include the CDC, WHO, FDA and other government agencies, as well as hospitals, pharmacies and other medical centers.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

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B.C. now has three clinics for ‘long-hauler’ COVID-19 patients with lingering symptoms – The Globe and Mail

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Katy McLean, a COVID-19 ‘long-hauler’ in Vancouver, on Jan. 22, 2021.

DARRYL DYCK/The Globe and Mail

British Columbia has launched a network of three clinics offering specialized treatments for COVID-19 patients still suffering from an array of ailments months after testing positive for the virus, with researchers using evidence from this care to better understand the long-term effects of the disease.

On Friday, a group of local health authorities announced units already operating at Vancouver General Hospital and St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver have now been joined by one this week at the Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre in Surrey, still the B.C. community reporting the most new cases each day.

As the pandemic nears its first year in Canada, health authorities across the country are grappling with how to treat those patients, who refer to themselves as long haulers. Alberta has announced three similar clinics, while Ontario has one in Toronto and one in London.

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Most patients at the trio of B.C. clinics will see a doctor at the facility three months after they first feel ill and then have follow-up visits after six months and then a year. “We’re truly building this plane as we’re flying it and we haven’t reached the 12-month mark,” said Zachary Schwartz, head of the recovery clinic at Vancouver General Hospital.

Though the scientific research to date varies, Jesse Greiner, the head of St. Paul’s clinic, told The Globe and Mail that a leading study showed up to 13 per cent of patients in the United Kingdom self-reported still having symptoms a month after first getting ill. A further 4.5 per cent reported having at least one symptom a month further along, and 2.5 per cent still felt sick at 12 weeks.

In B.C., 56,455 people were listed as recovered in the province’s Friday update, which means more than 1,400 people could still be fighting coronavirus-related symptoms three months or longer after first noticing them.

Dr. Schwartz, whose clinic began seeing long haulers in November, said the most common problem among patients is serious fatigue, but many also experience insomnia, ringing in their ears, tremors or a foggy brain.

“It’s a very individual disease, and everyone has a different history and story to them which makes treatment very difficult,” he said.

For Katy McLean, a Vancouver officer manager, her current experience is comparable to her recovery from a bad concussion once suffered after she fell down the stairs. More than four months after she first tested positive for coronavirus, the 42-year-old still finds it impossible to walk more than 10 minutes at a time and has to write everything down because of short-term memory loss.

“I feel like I have a brutal hangover every day and like I’ve smoked several packs of cigarettes,” she said.

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Still, she said she is feeling positive after recently reducing her work hours to 80 per cent of full time. Ms. McLean has found success managing her fatigue by setting intentional goals for each day. She said she is also incredibly grateful to live with her partner, who is a nurse.

“If I had been living alone I think I probably would have had to go live with a family member because that’s how much my function has been impaired,” she said.

Dr. Greiner, the internist who is in charge of the clinic at St. Paul’s Hospital, said the most important treatment to date has been educating people about how their activities can lead to their symptoms flaring.

Often, people experience a worsening of their ailments two to three days after they exert themselves heavily while recovering, he said. But mental and emotional stress can also kick off these bouts of bad symptoms, he added. His clinic has seen 160 patients since it opened in the fall.

“The learning that happens from doing this over and over again really just takes time … listening to patients and really trying to hear their stories and understand what their suffering is and where it’s coming from,” Dr. Greiner said.

We have a weekly Western Canada newsletter written by our B.C. and Alberta bureau chiefs, providing a comprehensive package of the news you need to know about the region and its place in the issues facing Canada. Sign up today.

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B.C. records 508 new COVID-19 cases, 9 deaths as vaccine plan released – News 1130

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VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Health officials in B.C. say the risk of COVID-19 transmission in long-term care and in communities remains too high to lift restrictions, as they announce nine more people have died from the virus in the last 24 hours.

In a joint statement Friday, Health Minister Adrian Dix and Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced 508 more people have been contracted the coronavirus in the last 24 hours.

On the heels of an announcement of how the province will proceed with immunization, Dix and Henry remind British Columbians that following guidelines and public health orders continue to be critical.

“We need to remember our risk remains high right now, even as we protect more and more people with vaccine. We are not at the point where we can lift restrictions in our community or long-term care,” they write.

“We must continue to use our COVID-19 layers of protection and do all we can to stop transmission in our communities right now.”

So far, 110,556 doses of the vaccine have been administered. Of those, 2,202 are second doses.

A new outbreak has been declared at the North Fraser Pretrial Services Centre in Port Coquitlam, and outbreaks have been declared at Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops, and Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster.

A total of 315 people are hospitalized, 74 are in intensive care.

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Coronavirus: Dr. Bonnie outlines B.C.'s mass immunization plan | Watch News Videos Online – Globalnews.ca

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Speaking at a press briefing on Friday, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines the COVID-19 vaccine rollout schedule and when British Columbians can expect to start receiving their doses. The province says the goal is to provide 7.4 million doses and will prioritize vaccines based on age.

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