The police in Kolkata have uncovered an unauthorised Covid-19 vaccination drive, where the recipients reportedly did not receive a message confirming their inoculation, The Times of India reported on Thursday. This was revealed after MP Mimi Chakraborty, who participated in the vaccination drive, approached the police.
Chakraborty told the newspaper that she got her first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine on Tuesday.
“The organisers told me it was a vaccination camp for transpersons and differently-abled people,” she said. “I instantly accepted the invitation and decided to get the jab to encourage others.”
The MP said she became suspicious about whether the drive was authentic as she did not receive a confirmation message after getting her dose. The organisers told her that she would receive her vaccination certificate after four days. Chakraborty then approached the police.
The Kolkata Police have found that at least 250 people were vaccinated at the same camp as Chakraborty in the last six days.
The police have arrested Debanjan Deb, the man who allegedly organised the camp and posed as an official of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation. Deb used the civic body’s banners for the vaccination drive, according to The Times of India. The police said that he had organised unauthorised camps in other parts of the city as well.
Deb claimed to have procured vaccines from a market, raising doubts among the beneficiaries about the authenticity of the shots.
Rashid Munir Khan, deputy commissioner of Kolkata’s South Suburban Division, told The Times of India that vaccine samples from the drive will be sent for testing. “If we find it to be a placebo [normal saline] or any other vaccine, we will ask the recipients to get jabbed again,” he said.
The police added that the vials seized from the unauthorised drive did not have an expiry date, according to ANI. “[The] accused will be interrogated in this regard,” the police added.
The Kolkata Police said they did not initially suspect that the vaccination drive was unauthorised since the man claimed to be associated with a non-governmental organisation. “Many NGOs are organizing camps and giving free vaccines to the poor,” Khan told The Times of India.