Thousands of people seeking coronavirus vaccines in India have been scammed after they were given saltwater instead of medicine.
Vishal Thakur, a senior official of the Mumbai police department, told CNN there were 12 fake vaccination drives in Mumbai leading to 14 arrests.
"They were using saline water and injecting it," Mr Thakur said.
"Every fake vaccination camp that they held, they were doing this."
About 2,500 people were given the fake vaccines and were charged for the service. Police said those responsible made $37,000.
The allegations of a rise in fake vaccine hubs were said to be “really shocking”, according to documents filed in Bombay High Court.
The documents cited a fake vaccination hub at a housing society in Mumbai’s suburb of Kandivali.
India has recorded more than 30.5 million cases of coronavirus, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
Indian pharmacist develops new vaccine
Indian pharmacy company Bharat Biotech said it has developed a vaccine with an overall efficacy of more than 77.8 per cent and effectiveness against all variants of coronavirus.
The company explained in a statement that it is in talks with the World Health Organisation to obtain authorisation for the emergency use of the drug, which is marketed under the name COVAXIN.
The results answer questions raised by health experts about the vaccine when Bharat Biotech received permission from the Indian government for its emergency use in January.
They considered that the pharmaceutical company did not have enough clinical trials, so it was almost impossible for it to have analysed and presented data that showed that its vaccines are effective in preventing coronavirus.
According to the firm, the vaccine is already licensed for emergency use in 16 countries including India, the Philippines, Iran and Mexico. Millions of Indians have already been inoculated with the same drug.
The last phase trials showed that the vaccine is 93.4 per cent effective against severe cases of Covid-19 and 77.8 per cent against symptomatic coronavirus, the pharmaceutical company added. The data also showed 65.2 per cent protection against the delta variant, first identified in India.
with The Associated Press
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