New Delhi: Even in times as distressing as this when the entire world is struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there are people who are running dangerous rackets at the cost of the lives of the people. In a disturbing development, several housing societies in Mumbai were targeted by individuals running fake COVID vaccine camps.

Zee News Editor-in-Chief Sudhir Chaudhary on Friday (June 18) cautioned people about the fake vaccination camps running at various places and discussed key points one must know to be safe from such frauds.

On May 30, a vaccination was organized in a housing society in Mumbai and the first dose of Covishield vaccine was administered to 390 people living in the society. The team that organized this vaccination told that they came from a big hospital in Mumbai and charged Rs 1260 each person for a dose of the vaccine. That is, 390 people gave about Rs 4.91 lakh to this team to get the vaccine.

But the relief did not last long. The 390 people who got the vaccine did not feel any side effects or changes in their bodies after getting the vaccine.

According to the medical journal The Lancet, one out of every four people who get Covishield vaccine shows minor side effects. The Union Health Ministry has also said that after getting the vaccine, in some cases, patients may experience mild fever, headache, fatigue and abdominal pain.

But nothing of this sort happened in this case. That is when these people got suspicious about the vaccination camp.

This suspicion increased when these people did not get the vaccination certificate for a week after getting the vaccine. And even when they got it, the certificates had different dates and names of the vaccination centres.

Just like the vaccination camp, the certificates were also fake. After this, when people reached the hospitals from where this team claimed to have come, it was found that the hospital had not organized any such vaccination camp. It became clear that the people were cheated.

When the matter went to the police, it was revealed that there was not just one such fake vaccination camp in Mumbai, but nine such camps had been set up by the same team who were duping people and earning lakhs of rupees.

Consequently, Mumbai Police registered a case of ‘adulterated vaccine’ and arrested four people in connection with the racket.

The issue of fake vaccines is not just limited to India.

The WHO in a report said it has received information of fake vaccines being recovered from the health ministries of many countries. In this report, the WHO said that people making fake vaccines collect empty vials of the original vaccine to carry out this work.

Currently, coronavirus vaccines of Pfizer, Moderna, Sputnik-V, Covishield and Johnson & Johnson are being sold on the dark web and up to Rs 60,000 is being charged for a dose of a vaccine.

Presently in big Indian cities like Delhi, Noida, Gurugram, Chandigarh, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai and Kolkata, many teams are organizing vaccination camps in the offices of housing societies and private companies. There are reports of complaints from people regarding vaccination and certificate in these cities too.

On May 29, the central government issued an order stating that vaccination programs can be run in housing societies, government offices, offices of private companies, offices of RWAs and old age homes. For this housing societies and private companies can contact private hospitals. However, the government has advised keeping some things in mind in this process.

First, housing societies can sign an MoU with private hospitals for vaccination. This will ensure that the vaccination camp is going to be set up by the same hospital.

Second, before vaccination, it must be ensured that the district health department is informed so that the department can check the whole process and register that housing society as a private vaccination centre.

Third, if someone claims that you can get vaccinated without registering on the CoWIN app, then that person is lying to you.

Fourth, if you are getting the vaccine in your society or it is being done by the office, then you can get the vaccination certificate immediately. If someone tells you that you will get the vaccination certificate after two to three days, then it is likely to be a lie.

By keeping these things in mind, one can avoid such frauds.

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