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Pfizer identifies fake vaccine doses in Mexico, Poland

Pfizer identifies fake vaccine doses in Mexico, Poland
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Pfizer has identified fake doses of its COVID-19 vaccine in Mexico and Poland.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that roughly 80 people in Mexico received a fake vaccine at $1,000 per dose in February, but didn’t appear to be harmed. Six people were detained.

Meanwhile, no one in Poland is thought to have received fake Pfizer vaccines, which were seized from a man’s apartment, the Journal reported. The vials were filled with liquid, which was later found to contain a substance used for skin care products. 

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Pfizer confirmed the Journal’s report in a statement to The Hill, saying it’s “identified counterfeit versions of its COVID-19 vaccine in Mexico and Poland.”

“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 company said.

The company added that it’s collaborating with BioNTech to “take meaningful steps to help reduce the risk of illicit COVID-19 Vaccine activity,” adding that it is working with governments and law enforcement agencies to combat illegal trade of its vaccines.

Pfizer advises patients to never get a vaccine online, emphasizing that “no legitimate vaccine is sold online,” adding that people should get vaccinated at “official vaccination centers or by certified healthcare providers.”

Multiple governmental agencies domestically and internationally have warned of COVID-19 scams regarding vaccines and treatments.

Interpol, an international policing agency, warned countries in December to prepare for criminal organizations plotting to “infiltrate or disrupt supply chains” as nations roll out the vaccine. The agency said in early March that police in China and South Africa seized thousands of fake vaccines each.