Residents of a housing society in the western suburbs of Mumbai have alleged that they were duped at a COVID-19 vaccination camp organised by the society. The residents allege that a person, who claimed to represent the Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital in Andheri, approached the society management promising to organise a COVID-19 vaccination camp.
Close to 400 residents got vaccinated at the camp and were charged Rs 1,260 per dose inclusive of taxes and "logistical charges".
Residents of Kandivali's Hiranandani Heritage have filed a complaint with the police who are investigating the matter. The camp was arranged by Hiranandani Heritage Residents Welfare Association (HHRWS) on May 30.
The residents are questioning the authenticity of the drive after various discrepancies emerged. The residents claim that they were not registered on the CoWin portal before the camp and did not receive a vaccine certificate immediately after getting the shot, as is the norm.
Furthermore, they claim that the vials containing the COVISHIELD vaccine had a "Not for sale" stamp on it.
"None of the people who got the vaccine have displayed any after effects of the vaccine like fever of body ache," a resident of the society told BOOM adding that the coordinator said that the certificates will be sent on the phones of those who got vaccinated in a couple of days.
Furthermore, when the residents finally got their vaccine certificates, they were issued in the name of Nanavati Max Super Specialty Hospital, Lifeline Hospital and the BMC-run NESCO jumbo centre in Goregaon. The dates in the certificate are also incorrect.
According to the complaint, a person named Sanjay Gupta was in charge of the camp but he refused to provide a receipt for the vaccines and asked the payment to be made to a person named Mahendra Singh.
Meanwhile, Kokilaben hospital has denied organising any vaccination camp as have Nanavati, Lifeline and the NESCO centre. While Kokilaben hospital will not be filing a complaint, Nanavati and Lifeline Hospitals have raised the issue with the authorities and are conducting investigations of their own.
The dean of the NESCO centre said that they do not conduct camps for housing societies and do not charge for vaccines. "Firstly, we don't vaccinate outside our centre. Secondly, being a civic-run centre, we don't charge the public for the vaccination. If certificates have been issued in the name of NESCO, then how are the people being charged?" Dr Neelam Andrade told the Hindustan Times.
However, BJP MLA Yogesh Sagar has alleged that the scam may involve people who work for the BMC as the certificates were also issued in the name of the NESCO centre.
"This is a nexus where people from the administration are involved. Certificates are being generated from NESCO, which is a civic-run facility and this clearly shows that insiders are involved in this matter," Sagar told Mumbai-based news website Free Press Journal.
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