Fake coronavirus vaccines are popping up, with the first two cases in Mexico and Poland, pharmaceutical giant Pfizer said on Wednesday.
In Mexico, around 80 people reportedly paid $1,000 apiece for a shot that was advertised as Pfizer’s vaccine for COVID-19, according to the Wall Street Journal. In Poland, a man with vials of what appeared to be anti-wrinkle treatment was passing it off as a vaccine; he was caught before any shots were administered, local authorities told the WSJ.
Pfizer confirmed the report in a statement emailed to Insider on Wednesday.
“Pfizer has identified counterfeit versions of its COVID-19 vaccine in Mexico and Poland,” the statement said. “We are cognizant that in this type of environment – fueled by the ease and convenience of e-commerce and anonymity afforded by the Internet – there will be an increase in the prevalence of fraud, counterfeit and other illicit activity as it relates to vaccines and treatments for COVID-19.”
The statement stressed that “no legitimate vaccine is sold online,” and said the company’s working with “governments, law enforcement, healthcare providers and others to combat this illegal trade.”
Pfizer, together with Johnson & Johnson and Moderna, are the three primary producers of COVID vaccines. All three are working with law enforcement globally to police fake vaccine distribution.
Source: Capital 21