Three more associates of fake IAS officer Debanjan Deb were arrested on Saturday morning in connection with the dubious COVID vaccination camps in Kolkata, a senior police officer said.
Two of the associates were signatories of the bank account that was created in the name of Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) by the accused, the officer said.
The third person, who was on the payroll of Deb, had actively taken part in the camps where several people were 'inoculated' by spurious vaccines, he said.
'One of them is a resident of Salt Lake, while another is from Barasat. Both were called for questioning before they were arrested,' the officer said.
The third person, a resident of Taltala, was arrested after police found him to be 'very active' in helping organising the camps, he said.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
Meanwhile, three more cases were registered against Deb at the Kasba police station, the police officer said.
'A private firm which claimed to have given him about Rs 1.2 lakh to get around 172 employees inoculated lodged a complaint at the Kasba police station. Another complaint was lodged by a contractor who claimed to have paid him Rs 90 lakh to get the tender for the construction of a stadium,' he said.
'The third complaint was filed by a pharma company that paid him Rs 4 lakh to get a tender,' he added.
Deb was arrested on Wednesday for posing as an IAS officer and organising a COVID-19 vaccination camp in the Kasba area, where actor and Trinamool Congress MP Mimi Chakraborty also got her jab.
Chakraborty said she became suspicious about the vaccination process as she did not receive the customary SMS that is sent to people after they are administered a dose, and informed the police.Investigations revealed that Deb also conducted another vaccination camp at a college in the north Kolkata's Amherst Street area where several teachers and students took the vaccine.