Thousands in India injected with fake coronavirus vaccines at scam drives


  • Indian officials arrested 14 people, including doctors and medical workers, who were involved in a wide-ranging scam of selling fake coronavirus vaccines.
  • Thousands of people rushed to the fake vaccination venues to get inoculated but were only given shots of saline solution.
  • India suffered from a second wave of coronavirus that infected millions and killed tens of thousands across the nation between April and early June.

Fourteen people were arrested in India as officials investigate an alleged vaccination scam that reportedly saw thousands of citizens receiving fake coronavirus vaccines. Reports say at least 2,000 people in the Indian financial capital of Mumbai and 500 in the eastern state of Bengal were actually given a saline solution.

The suspects allegedly held at least 12 private mass-vaccination sessions in May and June. They did not notify regional health authorities when they launched the vaccination camps. The scammers filled used, empty bottles of real vaccine with the saline solution and administered the shots to those who showed up at the sites.

Last month, the police started receiving reports from people who had been given the fake vaccine that they didn’t see their vaccination certificates appear on CoWin — the Indian government’s online portal where vaccinated citizens can download their certificates. Also, none of the people who received the ‘vaccine’ reported any of the usual post-vaccination side effects. 

Among those arrested were some doctors on fraud, criminal conspiracy and other charges. Authorities also cordoned the Shivam Hospital in Mumbai and arrested its owners, Doctor Shivraj Pataria and his wife Neeta Pataria, for their alleged involvement in the vaccination scam. 

Shivam Hospital was an authorized COVID-19 vaccination center, but it didn’t get any permit to hold the mass-vaccination camps, which were held in residential areas.

“Many [of the] accused have confessed that they used saline water,” Vishwas Nangre Patil, Mumbai’s joint commissioner of police, told news outlets last week. He explained that more people could be arrested as the investigation was still underway. 

A second wave of coronavirus hit India between April and early June, infecting millions and leaving tens of thousands of people dead.

Source: CBS News

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