After residents from the Hiranandani Heritage Residents Welfare Association (HHRWA) society in Kandivali claimed that a fake vaccination camp was organised inside their society, many similar scams came to light from nine other locations in Mumbai. Investigations have since revealed that 2,053 persons received spurious doses in these camps.
In most of the scams that have emerged, there are several common points like the vaccination data not uploaded on the CoWIN portal, the Covid Vaccination Certificate (CVCs) not issued or delayed and coming from different hospitals with many errors, people not experiencing the possible side-effects post-dose, exorbitant charges for vaccines which the government has now started giving for free, the vaccine vials were not sealed or stamped 'Not For Sale' etc.
Taking cognisance of the matter, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has directed all private COVID vaccine centres (PVCVs) to provide their unique identification and registration number to the ward or medical health officer before conducting any inoculation exercise in societies or corporate offices.
Dr Mangala Gomare, BMC's executive health officer, told the Free Press Journal they had earlier issued COVID-19 guidelines for conducting vaccination drives at societies and corporate offices, following which all details of the organisers had to be given to the ward officers. However, the PVCVs and societies failed to submit the required details.
“We are now taking all necessary steps to ensure no fake vaccination drive is conducted across the city. All the PCVCs have been provided unique identification and registration numbers which they have to submit before conducting the drives at societies or corporate offices,” she said.
Dr Gomare further added that it will be mandatory to inform the medical officer at the ward level before conducting vaccination campaigns in their society premises through private vaccination centers.
The Mumbai Police on Friday said it has so far arrested ten people in the fake vaccination scam case at Hiranandani Estate Society.
"8 accused persons arrested, bank accounts of the main accused have been frozen in the case of fake vaccination camp at Hiranandani Estate Society. So far, total 10 people arrested. 8 more camps were organised by this syndicate. 6 other cases registered," Vishwas Nangre Patil, Joint Commissioner of Police (Law and Order), was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
He also said that a Special Investigation Team (SIT) has been constituted for further investigation.
(With inputs from agencies)