More fake Pfizer/BioNTech COVID shots found, this time in Poland

Another incident involving falsified versions of Pfizer and BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine has been reported, this time in Poland.

In the latest case vials of the counterfeit Comirnaty (BNT162b2) vaccine – thought to actually be a wrinkle treatment – were discovered at a man's apartment, according to a Wall Street Journal report, which says no doses had been administered. The man has been arrested and charged with fraud.

In February, falsified vials of the vaccine that turned out to contain no active ingredient at all were found in Mexico, with around 80 shots delivered to people who paid around $1,000 a dose. Last month the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed that the vials were fake, and warned that they may still be in circulation in the Americas.

Mexico was also the location for an incident involving falsification of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine, while other cases have been seen in China and South Africa as criminals try to cash in on high demand for vaccination.

"We are cognisant that in this type of environment – fuelled 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," said Pfizer in a statement.

"Pfizer has extensive experience in criminal risk mitigation and is collaborating with BioNTech to take meaningful steps to help reduce the risk of illicit COVID-19 vaccine activity," it added.

"Our designated team of ex-law enforcement and forensic science specialists are tracking trends very carefully and have processes in place to identify threats to the legitimate supply chain. We continue to work with governments, law enforcement, healthcare providers and others to combat this illegal trade."

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