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Pfizer Sounds Alarm Against Counterfeit COVID-19 Vaccines: What You Need To Know

Pfizer Sounds Alarm Against Counterfeit COVID-19 Vaccines: What You Need To Know

Pfizer Inc (NYSE: PFE) has come to know of counterfeit versions of its COVID-19 vaccine in Poland and Mexico, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

What Happened: The New York-based pharmaceutical giant tested vials recovered by authorities in both countries and confirmed they contained spurious vaccines, according to the Journal.

In the case of Mexico, the vials reportedly also had fraudulent labeling and in Poland, they contained a likely antiwrinkle treatment instead of the vaccine.

In Mexico, 80 people received the fraudulent vaccine, which was being retailed at nearly $1,000 per dose — no physical harm has been reported.

“People were injected with distilled water,” said Manuel de la O Cavazos, the health secretary of Nuevo León state on the fraudulent vaccination in Mexico, as per the Journal.

Polish authorities said no one had received the fake vaccines which were seized from a man’s apartment.

Why It Matters: This is reportedly the first such confirmed instance where the vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech SE (NASDAQ: BNTX) was found to be sold by criminals.

Pfizer’s head of security, Lev Kubiak, said the shortage of vaccines presented a chance for criminals to run such rackets, reported the Journal.

“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.”

No counterfeit vaccines have been found in the United States, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

Earlier instances of fake vaccines have been reported from South Africa and China. In February, the Justice Department charged three men in February for attempting to sell fake vaccines online.

In June last year, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service said it had identified multiple malicious actors trying to take advantage of the pandemic to make a profit and the scams extended to fake at-home tests, fake cures, vaccines, and pills. 

Price Action: Pfizer shares closed nearly 1.3% higher at $39.53 on Wednesday in the regular hours and fell 0.18% in the after-hours session. On the same day, BioNTech shares rose 3.6% higher at $161.80 in the regular session and fell 1.05% in after-hours trading to $160.10.


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Posted-In: Covid-19 VaccinesBiotech News General Best of Benzinga

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