Pfizer confirmed on Wednesday, April 21 that fake doses of its COVID-19 vaccine developed with BioNTech had been found in Mexico and Poland, as indicated in an AFP report.
In Mexico, approximately 80 people had already received the bogus jab from a clinic, whereas no one had yet been inoculated with the fake doses in Poland, per The Wall Street Journal's report.
Pfizer ran tests on the doses that had been seized by authorities in both countries, confirming this week that they were fake, as well as most likely physically harmless. However, more harm could be done by people believing they were inoculated and potentially spreading, or catching, the virus.
Those who had been inoculated in Mexico have not reported any adverse side effects so far, and some paid as much as $1,000 for one dose, as the AFP report stated.
The vials in Mexico were kept in coolers, had fake labeling, wrong expiration dates, and different lot numbers than those the state had been sent, according to the health secretary of Nuevo León state, Dr. Manuel de la O Cavazos.
In Poland, Pfizer officials believe the vials were filled with anti-wrinkle solutions, which would most likely not have harmed anyone who would have been administered the dose. However, that issue was stopped before it happened as no one was given the fake dose.
COVID-19 vaccine frauds
As the world tries to inoculate as many people as possible with COVID-19 vaccines and crank life back into normal gear, more and more instances of fraudulent activity are being caught.
On the dark web, for example, COVID-19 vaccines are being sold without any verification, and if that fails, people are offering forged COVID-19 vaccine documents so people can move around without having been inoculated.
In other instances, hackers have tried to tap into official data to steal COVID-19 vaccine information to presumably create their own. And in some other cases, pharmacies have mistakenly given saline solution jabs instead of actual COVID-19 vaccines, like what happened to 22 people at a Walgreens pharmacy in North Carolina.
As supplies of COVID-19 vaccines are flown across the world to stop the pandemic's continuous spread, it's clear that stricter security measures will have to be put in place if blunders like in Mexico and Poland are to be mitigated.