Mumbai Police and the civic body Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Wednesday launched an investigation after residents of a plush housing society in Mumbai’s Kandivali area alleged that they have been the victims of a Covid vaccination drive fraud.
The residents of Mumbai’s Hiranandani Estate Society have alleged that the Covid-19 vaccines given to them during the private vaccination camp organised in their society on May 30 were possibly fake. Residents filed a complaint at the Kandivli police station after they spotted several irregularities in the entire process.
Based on the complaint, the police have detained two people and are investigating the matter.
The Mumbai housing society Covid vaccination drive scam
The vaccination camp was reportedly held in Mumbai’s Hiranandani Estate Society on May 30. As many as 390 members received the jabs at the camp at Rs 1,260 per person. The vaccine recipients of the housing society said that none of them developed any sort of side effects after being inoculated. This raised doubts in the mind of the people of the society.
Moreover, residents were told that the vaccinations would be given to them by Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital in Andheri. However, once they began to receive immunisation certificates, that too after 10-15 days, they discovered that their vaccines came from Nanavati Max Super Speciality, Lifeline Hospitals, and NESCO Jumbo Centre. This further raised the resident’s concern that something was amiss.
Furthermore, none of the recipients had registered on the Government’s CoWin App before being inoculated, which is a mandatory process. They were registered after being vaccinated. After receiving the vaccination the recipients received phone calls requesting the CoWin OTP. Following this, they received their certificates which were full of wrong information, like date of vaccination, name of hospital etc.
These three hospitals, whose name appeared on the vaccination certificates, denied ever delivering vaccines to the housing society in question when approached. The Kokilaben Ambani Hospital also claimed that no vaccines were ever given to society members.
This purported vaccination scam has sent the people of Mumbai, the state administration and hospital officials into a tizzy. While the state police and civic body investigate this shocking incident, it is crucial that people view it as a wake-up call. At the very least, they should have a rough idea of what has to be done in order to run COVID-19 immunisation drives on their premises.
First and foremost it is extremely important for housing societies and corporate offices to ensure all the paperwork is in place before organising COVID-19 vaccination drives on their premises.
The government of India has issued detailed guidelines for doorstep vaccination drives, which needs to be followed by housing societies, corporate offices and hospitals if such drives are to be planned.
The Government guidelines to organise a Covid vaccination drive near you
As per the central government guidelines, the COVID-19 vaccination sessions may be organized at private places which are having about 100 eligible and willing beneficiaries (to facilitate optimal utilization of vaccine dosage and reduce wastage) for COVID-19 vaccination.
The places which could be used as Near to Home COVID Vaccination Centres (NHCVC) would be identified by the District Task Force (DTF) chaired by District Magistrate and Urban Task Force (UTF) chaired by the Municipal Commissioner.
These places would be pre-identified in collaboration with community groups and resident welfare associations (RWA). Such sites could be at Panchayat Bhawan, Sub-Health Centres and Health and Wellness Centres with the availability of adequate space, community halls, RWA premises, polling booths, schools etc.
These spaces should be big enough to accomodate a vaccination chamber and a waiting space with appropriate access for the target group, for example ramp for wheel chair access and observation room to ensure waiting for 30 minutes post vaccination as per MoHFW Operational Guidelines.
Once an NHCVC is identified and has fulfilled the above-stated criteria, it will be linked to an existing Covid vaccination centre (CVC) for vaccination purpose. The CVC in charge, in turn, shall be responsible for providing vaccine, logistics and human resources required for vaccination.
The NHCVC will be then required to register on the central government’s CoWIN portal. The name of NHCVC should be recorded in the CoWIN App as full name and not as abbreviation for clarity.
DTF /UTF will be responsible for planning and implementation of vaccination at the NHCVC
A Nodal Officer to coordinate with district health authorities/ private COVID Vaccination Centres (CVCs) and support vaccination activities will be appointed. This Nodal Officer will monitor and support all aspects of vaccination at the Near Home CVC, including beneficiary registration, physical and IT infrastructure availability, and vaccination oversight, among other things.
Each team at NHCVC will comprise of five members:
- Team Leader (necessarily a Doctor).
- The Vaccinator and Vaccination Officer 1 for Co-WIN registration and/or verification of beneficiary.
- Vaccination Officer-2 and 3 for crowd control, assistance to vaccinator, ensuring 30 minutes observation of beneficiaries following vaccination for any AEFI and any other support.
The eligibility for COVID-19 vaccination at NHCVC
- All individuals above 60 years of age with no vaccination or first dose vaccination.
- All individuals below 60 years with disability due to physical or medical conditions.
Registration and appointment through Co-WIN
Meanwhile, the beneficiaries would have to mandatorily pre-register on the CoWin App before taking the jibe.
The NHCVC nodal officer shall ensure that all targeted beneficiaries are registered on the government app. In the case of a workplace, on-the-spot registration shall also, be available only to employees of the workplace (the family members of employees must be registered on the CoWIN portal before vaccination).
The full list of beneficiaries, as available in Co-WIN, will be visible to all verifiers and
vaccinations. Verification will be done by Verifier (Vaccination Officer-1) preferably using the beneficiaries Aadhar. In case, Aadhar authentication is not possible for any reason, the Verifier will verify the identity and eligibility of the beneficiary from the photo ID Card indicated by the beneficiary at the time of registration on the CoWin App.
The beneficiary is required to carry the photo ID which he or she has used to register on the app.
Apart from Aadhar, other IDs approved by the MoHFW are:
- Electoral photo identity card (EPIC)
- Driving license
- PAN Card
- Smart Card issued by RGI under NPR
- Pension Document with Photograph
If a beneficiary’s identification and eligibility are verified, the beneficiary will be vaccinated and his or her vaccination status will be updated, otherwise, the beneficiary will not be vaccinated.
Vaccination certificate available on CoWin App
All Vaccination must be recorded in real-time through the Co-WIN Vaccinator Module on the same day. The beneficiary’s digital immunisation certificate will be generated through Co-WIN, which could be downloaded by the beneficiary.
Workplace CVC Nodal Person will be responsible for providing a printed copy of the vaccination certificate to the beneficiary on site after the first and second doses.