Mumbai, June 16: Residents of a housing society in Mumbai suspect they were administered fake COVID-19 vaccines as part of an alleged "vaccination scam". The allegation has been made by residents of Hiranandani Estate Society in Kandivali. A COVID-19 vaccination camp was organised in the society on May 30 and around 390 people received their first dose of Covishield vaccine. Private Vaccination Centre-Housing Society MoU Mandatory, Says BMC.

The vaccination camp was organised after a person named Rajesh Pandey contacted the society committee members. Pandey claimed to be a representative of Kokilaben Ambani Hospital. One Sanjay Gupta coordinated with the society members and a third person, Mahendra Singh, collected the money in cash from the beneficiaries, a report by India Today said. Mumbai Covid-19 Vaccination: Over 1,000 Lactating Women Get Their Vaccine Shots; Turnout Of Pregnant Women Zero.

The residents got suspicious when they did not receive vaccination certificates for nearly two weeks. "My son got himself vaccinated. For each dose, we paid Rs 1,260. After getting the vaccine, we did not receive any messages. I would like to point out that we were not allowed to take photos or selfies while getting vaccinated," Hitesh Patel, a resident of Hiranandani Estate Society, was quoted as saying.

None of the inoculated people developed any side effects after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, which led to more suspicion. "We were shocked there were no symptoms or side effects. We started wondering what was going on because we did not even get our certificates," Hrishabh Kamdar, another resident, said. The beneficiaries received vaccination certificates after 10-15 days.

The certificates mentioned different hospitals like Nanavati, Lifeline, Nesco BMC vaccination center etc., as place where the vaccination was done. However, the residents were administered the doses at the society premises. These hospitals also denied that they provided vaccines to the society. The date of vaccination is also incorrect.

A statement from Nanavati Hospital said, "It was recently brought to our notice that residents of a Kandivali-based housing society were issued Covid-19 vaccination certificates in the name of Nanavati Max Super Speciality Hospital. We wish to clarify that we have not conducted any vaccination camp at the said residential complex. We have informed authorities concerned and are lodging a formal complaint regarding the same."

"This is scam on a huge scale because we came to know that similar people have conducted vaccination drives elsewhere also. How are we going to fight coronavirus? If such things are happening how is India going to be coronavirus-free? Immediate action needs to be taken," Hitesh Patel alleged. Meanwhile, the Mumbai Police have launched a probe. Two suspects Rajesh Pandey and Sanjay Gupta were being questioned.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jun 16, 2021 10:35 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website