Thousands in India given fake coronavirus vaccines at scam drives, officials say

Indian officials said that thousands of people were given fake coronavirus vaccines at scam inoccuation drives, CNN reported on Monday.

CNN News affiliate News 18 reported that the scam vaccinations centers took place during late May and early June, with authorities beginning their investigation after some of the scam victims became suspicious of the vaccination certificates they got. 

A resident told the news source that one of the fake vaccine drives took place at a housing society where they had to pay cash, and no one got any of the vaccine side effects. 


Mumbai Police Department senior official Vishal Thakur told CNN that 12 fake vaccination sites had been held in the city, saying that the fake doctors were using saline water to inject their victims. 

Thakur said that an estimated 2,500 people received fake vaccine shots, with the organizers making $28,000 in charged fees, according to CNN. 

This comes as India has battled the second wave of the virus, which infected millions of people and killed tens of thousands of others, for nearly three months. 

Recently, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a centralized vaccine drive where the government will provide free vaccinations for citizens, CNN reported. 

Thakur told CNN that they have arrested 14 people on suspicion of cheating, attempts at culpable homicide, criminal conspiracy and other charges in the vaccination scam.

"We have arrested doctors," Thakur said. "They were using a hospital which was producing the fake certificates, vials, syringes."