The start of the new academic year and the return of students in auditoriums began with a clash among university security employees and students. On September 24 vaccination was made compulsory for students, whereas the ones who refuse vaccination should get a PCR test every other week. Faktoje calculated that the cost of the PCR test per student varies between 8,800 to 26,000 ALL per month. This paved the road to illegal alternatives such as fictitious vaccination certificates. Faktoje contacted a student, who showed us how she got a vaccination certificate without actually getting vaccinated. The experts of the field warned about the risks of fictitious certificates since the very start when the order for compulsory vaccination was issued in an article by Faktoje on August 31.
Students have protested for days in front of the Ministry of Education against compulsory vaccination. But whereas the academic year started on October 18, many unvaccinated students came up with ways to fabricate vaccination certificates.
Ana* is a third year Bachelor student at the Faculty of Foreign Languages and she doesn’t want to get vaccinated. Her solution to access the faculty premises was getting a fake vaccination certificate. She says for Faktoje that the main motivation behind this solution was that she wanted to finish her Bachelor studies and not lose the academic year.
“I didn’t want to lose an academic year, especially since this is my last one”. – Ana states as she awaits to enter the faculty.
Ana tells us in detail the ways she used to get a vaccination certificate, while being cautions and not naming the people who helped her.
“Currently we are all trying in our own way to make our way into the faculty, whether by photoshop, fabrication or connections, since no one wants to lose the year, but on the other hand they also don’t want to get vaccinated.”- Ana states, whereas holding in her hands the vaccination certificate.
The student from Burrel tells us that in other districts, the vaccination certificate is procured more easily.
“My documentation is in Burrel and I had to get vaccinated there, but I didn’t want to, because I think that it’s most likely that I will get the mild version of the virus due to my young age and strong immune system.”
Ana sates that she followed all procedures, including deadlines.
“On paper it seems as if I have received the Astra Zenneca vaccine; I went to the health center and registered as if I wanted to get vaccinated. For my good fortune, I had some connections and I didn’t get it, then I went to get the second dose according to the deadline for the vaccine and here I am holding my vaccination certificate.
Moreover, the student from Burrel tells us that her friends did the same thing.
“I am no the only one to have done this, some of my friends paid 100 EUR to get the vaccination certificate, while for others with connections it was easier to get it.”
The experts of the field warned about the risks of the fictitious certificates phenomenon since the very start when the order for compulsory vaccination was issued in an article by Faktoje on August 31.
The cost of getting a PCR test every week
According to the order of the Ministry of Health you need to meet some of the criteria to be able to enter faculty premises, one of which is getting PCR tested every week if you are not vaccinated.
Ermira, a first year student of master of science states that she doesn’t want to get vaccinated.
“I don’t want to get vaccinated due to my young age and because there still are no studies on long-term side effects. I also think that it shows the failure of the Ministry of Health and that the obligation solves nothing in terms of public health issues. And finally, the vaccine doesn’t protect me from getting infected, it just prevents me from getting hospitalized, so at the end of the day I could still potentially transmit the infection, thus the main argument of the MoH to get vaccinated as not to infect others is not valid.”
When asked what solution she has come up with to enter faculty premises the engineering student states:
“Education is a constitutional right no one can stop me or violate my rights. Of course I will wear a mask or use disinfectants in the faculty premises, because I am aware of the risks and I wouldn’t want to risk my family members and friends. I would get tested every week as required by the order, but tests are quite expensive for a student’s budget, especially now that the costs of PCR tests have started to go up again. This is my solution, at the end of the day we live in a democratic country, not in communism.”
To verify the costs of monthly PCR tests per student Faktoje inquired12 MoH certified labs for test prices .
The highest PCR test price on the market is 6,500 ALL, which multiplied by 4 weeks = 26,000 ALL per month.
Whereas the lowest price for a PCR is 2,200 ALL, which multiplied for 4 weeks = 8,800 ALL.
And whereas the students are facing a dilemma on getting the vaccine or not, university rectors are divided among them on accepting or not unvaccinated students.
The Universitety of Korça and Durrës have accepted unvaccinated students in the auditorium. The vice rector of this university, Artur Adili stated that they can’t penalize students who are not vaccinated, but that they will encourage them towards vaccination.
“In regard to unvaccinated students, there are two vaccination centers and most students have received the first dose, whereas the unvaccinated ones will adhere to anti-COVID measures and will enter wearing a mask. With time they will all get vaccinated, but we can’t vaccinate them all within the day and we can’t keep them from attending classes.
*Ana is the student’s pseudonym, because the student wishes to remain anonymous.