Authorities in Mexico and Poland discovered counterfeit vials of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine, the drug company told The Wall Street Journal. Pfizer said they tested the seized samples and determined they were not genuine.
The vaccines seized in Mexico were falsely labeled with different lot numbers and the wrong expiration date. Officials said that vials were being stored in beer coolers and being sold for $1,000 per dose. Eighty people were given the fake vaccines, which contained nothing but distilled water. Officials said that nobody suffered adverse reactions from the injections.
Pfizer said that samples from Poland contained hyaluronic acid, which is used as an anti-wrinkle and anti-aging treatment. Authorities seized the counterfeit vaccines before they were administered to anybody.
"Pfizer has identified counterfeit versions of its COVID-19 vaccine in Mexico and Poland," the drugmaker said in a statement. "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."
Pfizer said it will continue to work with "governments, law enforcement, healthcare providers and others to combat this illegal trade."
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