How do you know if you get the vaccine well? 2:43
(CNN Spanish) – The coronavirus vaccine is already being counterfeited by gangs. For example, counterfeit versions of the Pfizer vaccine were found in Mexico.
In this episode, Dr. Elmer Huerta talks about specific identified cases of counterfeit antigens and explains how we can avoid falling into the trap of a fake vaccine.
You can listen to this episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast platform, or read the transcript below.
Hello, I am Dr. Elmer Huerta and this is your daily dose of information about the new coronavirus. Information that we hope will be useful to take care of your health and that of your family.
The Mafia and the Counterfeit Vaccine
At a recent news conference, World Health Organization officials issue a disturbing warning about vaccines.
But this is not a warning of the safety of the vaccine related to its possible side effects, but rather that mafias have been detected that falsify vaccines or manipulate them, reducing their quality.
According to the WHO, these mafias sell counterfeit antigens through the so-called dark web. These are communication networks on the internet, which require specific configurations or permissions to access them. They are used to communicate or conduct business anonymously without disclosing identifying information, such as the user’s location or the identification of the computer from which the communication originates.
The case of Mexico
In a medical product alert released on March 26, the WHO reports that in February, counterfeit Pfizer vaccines were seized in Mexico, which were administered to people outside the national vaccination system.
Confirmation that the vaccine was counterfeit was given by the Pfizer laboratory itself. They said that they had not manufactured the product, and that the batch number and expiration dates were falsified. Furthermore, the glass vials and the label were found to be different from the authentic vials of the original vaccine.
In Mexico, the case of seizure of 1,155 vials of Sputnik V vaccines, which contained more than 5,700 doses and which were en route to be distributed in Honduras, was also documented.
The Russian Fund for Direct Investment, the organization in charge of the sale and distribution of the vaccines, after seeing photographs of the vials, concluded that they were counterfeit.
The WHO alerts the health authorities of the countries to be alert to the presence of counterfeit vaccines in their territories. To do this, they must verify the origin of the vaccine batches that are applied in vaccination programs, especially in hospitals, private clinics, health centers, pharmacies and other distribution centers for medical products.
In this regard, the Government of Kenya prohibited private centers in that country from importing vaccines for sale outside the state program, which receives the AstraZeneca vaccine through the WHO’s Covax program.
In that country, private centers were charging between US $ 70 and US $ 80, according to different reports, to inoculate with the Sputnik V vaccine.
The consequences of receiving counterfeit vaccines
On the other hand, a report from the University of Oxford Medicine Quality Research Group, from January 2021, documents that there has been an increase in incidents of counterfeiting vaccines and the use of vaccines against covid-19 from poor quality.
In January, for example, the report says, 20 different incidents of degradation, counterfeiting and theft of covid-19 vaccines were documented.
In one of them, in the United States, a high number of allergic reactions occurred in people immunized with degraded Moderna vaccines.
On the other hand, in several countries there have been incidents, in which criminals tried to sell supposed vaccines against covid-19, sometimes injecting victims with unknown substances.
How do you know if they offer you a low quality antigen?
The way criminals offer their products, the report says, is by:
Internet, text messages, dark web and social networks, having in common that covid-19 vaccines are offered outside of legitimate outlets.
The United States Department of Justice recommends that you never share your health information with people other than known and trusted medical professionals, and that you use extreme caution with phone calls, text messages, or emails offering tests, vaccinations, or treatment that you have not requested.
Consequence of inequity?
Undoubtedly, as with other products whose scarcity or value is evident, the main reason why the phenomenon of counterfeiting of covid-19 vaccines is occurring is the enormous inequity in the distribution of these vital drugs.
While some countries have more doses than they need to vaccinate their entire population, other countries have enormous difficulties in obtaining vaccines.
Our advice is that you only receive the vaccine through the vaccination programs of the Ministry of Health in your country.
Questions about the coronavirus?
Send me your questions on Twitter, we will try to answer them in our next episodes. You can find me at @Drhuerta.
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