WHO warns against sales of counterfeit Covid vaccines on the dark web

Small vials labeled with “Vaccine” stickers are placed near a medical syringe in front of the words “Coronavirus COVID-19” shown in this illustration taken on April 10, 2020.

Given Ruvic | Reuters

The World Health Organization warned against counterfeit Covid-19 vaccines being sold on the dark web during a press conference on Friday.

“We urge all people not to buy vaccines outside of government-run vaccination programs. Any vaccine outside of these programs may be substandard or counterfeit, with the potential to cause serious harm,” said the CEO. from WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

The top WHO official said the group is also aware of reports of “criminal groups” reusing empty vaccine vials and manipulating the Covid vaccine supply chain.

“We urge the safe disposal or destruction of used and empty vaccine vials to prevent them from being reused by criminal groups,” said Tedros. He called on countries and individuals to be vigilant about suspicious vaccine sales and report them to national authorities. “The flow of information is essential to mark, map global threats and protect confidence in vaccines,” he said.

The WHO emphasized that any harm caused by counterfeit vaccines does not reflect the safety of genuine vaccines.

Law enforcement agencies in the UK cataloged more than 6,000 cases of Covid-related fraud worth £ 34.5 million (US $ 48 million) in the past year, the BBC reported.

Americans have lost $ 382 million to fraud related to the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Federal Trade Commission. More than 217,000 people have filed a Covid-related fraud report with the agency since January 2020.


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