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Fake Vaccination Drive in West Bengal; the tip of an iceberg of the larger vaccine scam?

WebdeskJun 29, 2021, 10:51 AM IST

Fake Vaccination Drive in West Bengal; the tip of an iceberg of the larger vaccine scam?

West Bengal Government on June 26 set up an expert committee to examine the effect of fake vaccination administered to the people. Hundreds have been administered fake vaccines at camps set up by Debanjab Deb, who posed himself as an IAS officer


West Bengal has become an epicentre of another controversy- the fake vaccination drive scam. On the 23rd of June, Member of Parliament of Jadavpur Mimi Chakraborty took a shot of COVISHIELD, in a camp which was supposedly organised by Kolkata Municipal Corporation. After realising that she did not receive an official SMS from Cowin, she immediately asked her aides to confirm if it is the case with the 250 others also who took the vaccine at that camp. She immediately alerted Kolkata police after the confirmation that nobody got the SMS. The police were quick to arrest a man called Debanjan Dev, who pretended to be an IAS officer and ran the fake vaccination drive. Days after receiving the shot, she fell ill and the sample of what was injected at the site was sent for medical examination.


This event made it to the media because it involved a VIP, there remain however, a lot of such stories have not come under the limelight. One Mr. Khutia went to get a shot at Mankur PHC in Howrah but was denied because he failed to get the recommendation of the local panchayat member. That night, he received an SMS stating that he was administered the jab. He alleges that his dose may have been sold in the market for good profit. Is this event just the tip of the iceberg? 60,000 vials of COVID vaccine went missing from Ballygunge Cold Chain Depot. A week later, they were found in a clinic in the Chetla area of Bhawanipore. Health officials had no idea of what and how it had happened. In a pandemic like this, governments are expected to be more responsible than ever.


Is this a re-run of what happened post the Amphan Cyclone where 2100 cases of corruption were filed mostly against TMC leaders? If this matter is not seriously investigated, the state could become the hub of black vaccine market. Cases like such poses serious questions to the credibility of vaccination numbers in the state of West Bengal.


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