13-year-old Indian boy among fake beneficiaries as doubts raised over vaccination record

13-year-old Indian boy among fake beneficiaries as doubts raised over vaccination record
India is yet to officially start vaccinating those under the age of 18 against Covid-19

On a day when an Indian state boasted of its highest single-day Covid-19 vaccinations, a father received a curious text message stating that his 13-year-old son had apparently been inoculated, according to reports. India is yet to officially begin vaccination of those below the age of 18.

Rajat Dangre from Madhya Pradesh said he was shocked when he downloaded the vaccination certificate from the link mentioned in the message. He told NDTV that he found out his son Vedant Dangre’s details were taken from documents he had submitted for pension as a person with disabilities.

The text message that Mr Dangre received on 21 June said that Vedant has been successfully vaccinated with the first dose of Covishield — the Oxford-AstraZeneca shot being produced by the Serum Institute of India. Vedant’s age in the message was shown as 56, according to NDTV.

Madhya Pradesh government said it had on 21 June administered more than 1.5 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine as India began inoculating all adults in the country free of charge under a new government scheme. India administered more than 8 million doses overall.

However, the number of vaccinations in India, including in Madhya Pradesh, dropped the next day. The Madhya Pradesh government said vaccination in the state at government centres happens only four days a week — Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Medical education minister Vishwas Sarang said that Tuesday’s figures were only the doses administered by private hospitals.

Opposition lawmakers have raised questions over the vaccination drive in the state as reports claimed that Madhya Pradesh administered significantly lower number of doses in the days prior to 21 June.

The government has rubbished all allegations that vaccination slowed down before the 21 June campaign, with Mr Sarang reminding that vaccination only happens four days a week.

Even about the irregularities in vaccination, Mr Sarang told NDTV: “There is no such problem. I don’t know from where you got the information. I am hearing this for the first time. If anything comes up, we will get it investigated.”

A spate of fake vaccines have hit the country with the government of the state of West Bengal shutting down all Covid-19 vaccination centres apart from those in private and government hospitals. As many as 2,053 people across the city of Mumbai had fallen victim to fake vaccination camps, according to reports.

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