In a report from The Wall Street Journal this past Wednesday, vaccine creator Pfizer stated that it had discovered criminals in Mexico and Poland attempting to profit off the low supply of vaccines by trying to pass off fake COVID-19 vaccines as genuine.
Throughout several investigations, authorities took possession of vials that were later tested by Pfizer. Through this testing, it was confirmed that the vials had been filled with fake vaccine doses. Pfizer stated that in Mexico, the vials also sported incorrect labeling, while the vials of counterfeit vaccines taken in Poland were most likely filled with an anti-wrinkle treatment.
The outlet went on to state, “Pfizer tested the liquid in the vials purported to be its Covid-19 vaccine at its laboratory in Groton, Conn., finding it lacked key ingredients and instead contained hyaluronic acid, which is used in skin products.” Authorities from Poland have stated that no one had gotten a dose of the fake vaccine yet as they had been confiscated from a man’s apartment.
“About 80 people at a clinic in Mexico received a fake vaccine going for about $1,000 a dose, though they don’t appear to have been physically harmed. The vials, found in beach-style beer coolers, had different lot numbers than those sent to the state, and wrong expiration date, said Dr. Manuel de la O, the health secretary of Nuevo León state,” the news source reported. “People were injected with distilled water,” Dr. de la O stated during a phone interview done with The Wall Street Journal.
These horrid findings are just the latest set in an ongoing string of works between international law enforcement and drug companies such as Pfizer, Moderna inc., and Johnson & Johnson in order to reduce the number of criminal acts that are focused on the exploitation of the global rollout of COVID-19 vaccines.
“Everybody on the planet needs it. Many are desperate for it,” stated Pfizer’s world head of security, Lev Kubiak. “We have a very limited supply, a supply that will increase as we ramp up and other companies enter the vaccine space. In the interim, there is a perfect opportunity for criminals.”
Working together, the United States, Mexico, and many other countries have taken actions to shut down various fraudulent websites which are pretending to have a connection to vaccine manufacturers or falsely claimed to sell doses of vaccine, according to government records and administrations. The outlet went on to report, “The fake, company look-alike websites appeared to be seeking consumers’ personal information to be used in identity fraud schemes, government and industry officials say.”
So far, no fake vaccines have been discovered in the United States, according to the Department of Homeland Security, the Post stated. However, outside the United States, where the supply of vaccines is lower and there are many people looking for them, people could go looking for doses from unofficial means. Black markets are extremely prevalent in these places where there are high levels of infection and a track record of selling fake prescription medication, as stated by security experts who spoke to the Journal.