Scammers Arrested in India for Distributing Fake COVID Vaccines

As many as 2,000 people may have received a fake shot. India is still in the midst of a COVID-19 surge, made worse by the increasing circulation of the...

As many as 2,000 people may have received a fake shot.

India is still in the midst of a COVID-19 surge, made worse by the increasing circulation of the Delta variant. Vaccination has become more important than ever in the country, and residents want to get shots however they can. Unfortunately, that desire for vaccines has become a target for unsavory actors looking to take advantage of a dire situation.

Indian authorities have successfully arrested 14 individuals under suspicion of running a large-scale vaccine scam. The alleged scammers, which includes several hospital doctors, are under suspicion of illegally running mass vaccination sites where, instead of actual vaccines, residents are injected with saline solution. These salt water shots were placed in used vaccine bottles that were meant to be destroyed after use. It is believed that the goal of this crime was to sell the fake shots to hospitals, with comprimised doctors administering them to deflect suspicion.

According to the investigators, these scammers may have administered as many as 2,000 fake shots to residents of Mumbai, as well as around 500 in Bengal. Local police began their investigation into the matter last month when several people who received a supposed vaccine didn’t see any confirmation of such on the Indian government’s online vaccination portal, nor did they experience any of the typical side effects.

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