Swiss regulator warns of fake Covid-19 vaccines

Updated January 13, 2021

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Geneva, Jan 13 (IANS) Switzerland's health regulator Swissmedic has warned of the danger of buying vaccines online, saying that fake coronavirus vaccines are already being offered on the internet.

In a statement on Tuesday, Swissmedic said that as the demand for coronavirus vaccines being on the rise, criminal individuals and organisations are exploiting people's fears by offering fake vaccines on the internet, Xinhua news agency reported.

"Crimes involving illegal medicines and vaccines, and especially Covid-19 vaccines, pose a serious threat to the health and lives of the population," the statement said.

"Very often, the products they are offering are fakes that either contain no active ingredients at all or else contain dangerous substances that can endanger people's health. In many cases, advance payments are made and nothing is ever delivered," it added.

Swissmedic stressed that vaccines are solutions that have to be injected with a syringe after being prepared by a medical professional, and they often need to be stored and transported in an unbroken cold chain, therefore, products like that cannot be sold online.

"Anyone wishing to be vaccinated should consult their doctor and be vaccinated at an official vaccination point," it noted.

As the world is struggling to contain the pandemic, vaccination is underway in some countries with the already-authorized coronavirus vaccines.

Meanwhile, 236 candidate vaccines are still being developed worldwide -- 63 of them in clinical trials -- in countries including Germany, China, Russia, Britain and the US, according to information released by WHO on January 12.

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