The pharmaceutical giant confirmed through testing that doses of their vaccine seized in Mexico and Poland were fake, the Wall Street Journal reported.
In Mexico, vials found in beer coolers were initially flagged as suspect due to their fabricated lot numbers and expiration dates. Around 80 people paid as much as $1,000 for the shots, which reportedly contained distilled water. Six people were arrested in February in connection with the black market shots. Fortunately, the fake jabs haven’t been linked to any medical episodes.
In a separate case, Pfizer said it had confirmed that fake doses had been put up for sale in Poland. The counterfeit vaccine purportedly contained hyaluronic acid, which is typically found in anti-wrinkle creams. One person was charged with fraud after an unspecified amount of the fake vials were found in his apartment. Authorities intervened before any of the counterfeit jabs were sold.
In a statement sent to the media, Pfizer said it recognized that the “ease and convenience of e-commerce and anonymity” on the internet has allowed for an “increase in the prevalence of fraud.” The pharmaceutical firm stressed that it does not sell the vaccine online, adding that it was working with law enforcement agencies and healthcare providers to crack down on the sale of fake doses.