With reports of black marketing of Covid-19 vaccines spreading like wildfire, those who have paid heavily for the jab are now spending sleepless nights, worrying about its efficacy. Their anxiety is understandable – after all, who is to stop the unscrupulous from injecting them with fake vaccines when they could deprive the legitimate beneficiaries of their rights?
Also, there has been multiple instances of black marketers of life-saving drugs like Remedesivir being caught all over the country. Recently, the West Godavari district police arrested 10 persons, all working at the Ashram hospital, for selling Remedesivir in the black market. The arrests were made following a complaint by the hospital management. The complaint led to a police investigation and the involvement of the staff came to the fore. Those arrested included nurses, technicians along with office boys. The accused allegedly stole the vials and started administering each dose for thousands of rupees.
Elsewhere, the Guntur district police arrested a nine-member gang selling Remdesivir injections in the black market. This gang was led by an RMP from Tenali. The police seized 14 Remedesivir injections and also Rs 2,40,000 lakh in cash from the gang. In yet another incident, Vijayawada police busted a fake Remdesivir injections racket and arrested two persons. In all the above-cited cases, the accused had been lured by the easy money to be made due to the huge demand for the life-saving drug and the desperation of the people to save the life of their loved ones. Apart from the Remedesivir, Amphotericin-B injections prescribed to treat the dreaded Black fungus are fetching a premium in the black market.
According to sources, the drug is being sold for as much as Rs 1 lakh per vial, when its retail price is Rs 8,000. Despite paying this whopping amount, there is no guarantee of their genuineness. When Hello Vizag spoke to a couple of doctors across Andhra Pradesh, they unanimously agreed that there was a possibility of fake vaccines being administered to unsuspecting people. They even said that since the state has promised to provide the Covid vaccine free of cost, it is better that the people wait till it is made available, instead of risking their lives while paying through their nose.