A pensioner in India who illegally had eleven Covid-19 jabs in less than a year, is now hiding in fear of arrest warrant on charges of misleading the health department.
Brahamdev Mandal has threatened to kill himself if he is prosecuted. Police are conducting raids to arrest the 84-year-old.
The serial-vaxxer was able to sign up for extra jabs by using different people’s ID and lying to health officials.
On Sunday police showed up at his home in Bihar’s Madhepura District and since then his phone had been switched off.
Mr. Mandal has asked the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi to clear him of the charges.
The wife of Mr. Mandal, Nirmala Devi, has accused the police of harassing her and defended her husband. She told TOI that her husband was suffering from various diseases and difficulties to stand or walk, but after the shots he has been cured.
The 84-year-old had the dozen vaccines in just 11 months, and even had two within half an hour of each other on the same day.
Brahamdev Mandal, 84 (pictured), had 11 Covid-19 vaccines in just 11 months, and even had two within half an hour of each other on the same day
He said he wanted to feel stronger during the pandemic, and claimed the multiple jabs rid him of his joint pain he has had for eight years.
The serial-vaxxer was able to sign up for extra jabs by using different people’s ID and lying to health officials, and is now facing a string of charges.
Two doses of Covid-19 vaccines are required for adults in most countries to be considered ‘fully vaccinated,’ with a third ‘booster’ jab becoming more common in order to enhance immunity that decreases over time.
Some countries, such as Austria, have also begun rolling out fourth doses to specific groups, such as healthcare workers, while Turkey has offered a fifth.
However, eleven doses is unheard of and not recommended by health bodies.
Mr Mandal, a former postman, has been accused of a string of offences by police in the village of Orai, in Bihar, India where he lives.
Officials have launched an investigation into how he was able to abuse the system.
Puraini police station officer Deepak Chandra Das said Mr Mandal was booked under sections 188, 419 and 420 of the Indian Penal Code respectively.
However, the accused may get leniency due to his age.
Amongst his jabs Mandal got two vaccines inside 30 minutes on the same day at Puraini health facility on April 13 last year.
Mr Mandal bragged: ‘I have taken vaccines and I recommend everyone to take them.
‘It’s quite beneficial. The government has taken an incredible step, as it helps back pains too, you should take it.
‘My oxygen level has improved and I haven’t caught a cold since getting a jab.’
He claimed he got nine of the jabs using his own ID card.
Speaking to the BBC, Mr Mandal said he travelled to various vaccination camps across the Madhepura district and even to at least two neighbouring districts.
One, he said, was more than 62 miles away.
Pictured: Three different certificates showing Brahamdev Mandal’s vaccine status. The 84-year-old said he wanted to feel stronger during the pandemic, and claimed the multiple jabs rid him of his joint pain he has had for eight years
Is it safe to have 11 Covid jabs a year?
Getting more than the recommended number of Covid jabs raises the risk of side effects, experts say.
Serious side effects have proven to be extremely rare after a standard two-dose course or after a booster.
And Professor Ian Jones, a virologist at Reading University, says there is ‘no particular’ risk in receiving multiple shots.
But he warned they did increase the already very tiny risk of side effects — such as myocarditis which occurs in just one in 10,000 recipients.
Vaccines have never been trialled in more than four-dose courses.
But there are suggestions that smaller gaps are more likely to trigger side-effects.
UK Government scientists say that giving children jabs eight weeks apart, the same as for adults, increases their risk of myocarditis.
As a result, they recommend children should wait 12 weeks between doses.
Britain’s medical regulator says people should wait at least four weeks before getting their second dose, and a minimum of three months after two jabs to get their boosters.
Scientists say the longer gaps, as well as reducing the side-effect risk, also make jabs more effective at priming the immune response.
For people who are ‘overdosed’, get Covid vaccines too close together, the regulator says there is ‘no specific treatment’.
It says these individuals should be ‘monitored’ and offered treatment if it is needed.
In April last year MailOnline revealed that a 74-year-old grandmother from London had got two Covid jabs five days apart.
Station house officer Das said: ‘Mandal has taken 11 vaccines at different dates using different identity cards lying to the health officials.
‘This act is a violation of the Covid-19 vaccination rule. He has taken vaccines between February 13, 2021, to January 4, 2022.’
One medic said: ‘This is a massive loophole when it comes to the surveillance system. We need to plug in such loopholes.’
Despite taking well over the recommended number of vaccine doses, one doctor told the BBC that any side effects should be ‘fairly harmless.’
Common side effects of the vaccine include fever, headache, fatigue and aches – ranging from mild to moderate – that usually subside within days. Severe allergic reactions are much more uncommon.
‘You will usually get these reactions after the first and the second dose. Multiple doses of these vaccines should be fairly harmless, as antibodies have already been formed and the vaccines are made up of harmless components,’ Dr Lahariya told the broadcaster.
Mr Mandal is not the first person to have reportedly been given multiple doses by tricking the system.
In December, a man in New Zealand received the the vaccine 10 times in one day after he was paid by anti-vaxxers to get jabs on their behalf.
The man, who has not been identified, pretended to be a different person each time he visited a doctor. He was then given the jab before the vaccination records were updated for the real person.
Authorities believe anti-vaxxers paid the man so they could enjoy the same freedoms as the vaccinated without having to get the jab.
New Zealanders must show a vaccine pass in order to visit some businesses and attend events in the country.
India reported 168,063 new COVID-19 infections on Tuesday, a 20-fold rise in a month despite testing being well below capacity. Around 65 percent of the county’s adult population is fully vaccinated, and 91 percent have had at least one dose.
Most infected people have recovered at home and the level of hospitalisations has been less than half of that seen during the last major wave of infections in April and May.
Many states have announced night curfews while the capital Delhi has also imposed a weekend lockdown, closed private offices as well as restaurants and bars in a bid to rein in the fast-spreading Omicron variant.
Tuesday infection count came as nearly one million Hindu worshippers are expected to gather on the banks of the Ganges river this Friday and Saturday for a holy bathe.
A health worker prepares to administer the third dose of COVID-19 vaccine to a police officer at a government hospital in Hyderabad, India, Tuesday, January 11, 2022
Tens of thousands of pilgrims have already reached the site of the annual Ganges ritual on an island in the eastern state of West Bengal, which is reporting the most number of cases in the country after Maharashtra state in the west.
‘The crowd may swell to anywhere between 800,000 to one million. We are trying to implement all COVID protocols,’ Bankim Chandra Hazra, a West Bengal minister in charge of organising the festival known as the Gangasagar Mela, told Reuters.
‘We have also arranged for sprinkling of the holy water from drones so that there is no crowding … but the sadhus (Hindu holy men) are bent on taking the dip. We can’t prevent them.’
A similar big religious festival in the north of India last year helped spread the Delta variant that infected millions of people and killed tens of thousands.
Every year on Jan. 14, on the important Hindu day of Makar Sankranti, pilgrims visit Gangasagar village for a dip at the confluence of the Ganges and the Bay of Bengal.
Doctors have appealed to the state’s high court to reverse a decision to allow the festival this year, worrying it will become a virus ‘super spreader’ event.
India has reported a total of 35.88 million COVID-19 infections, the world’s biggest tally after the United States. Deaths rose by 277 to 484,213 on Monday.
India conducted 1.6 million COVID-19 tests on Monday, while the capacity is more than 2 million. It has dropped the need for all close contacts of confirmed patients to get tested.