Falsified Sputnik COVID vaccine batch seized in Mexico

The authorities in Mexico have intercepted a counterfeit batch of Russia’s Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine en route to a destination in Honduras.

The seizure at Campeche International Airport was made from a private aircraft that was destined for the San Pedro Sula International Airport in Honduras.

Customs officers, assisted by the Mexican army, discovered two ice chests with 1,155 vials – the equivalent of 5,775 doses of Sputnik V – concealed between soft drinks and sweets. The aircraft has been seized and the crew and passengers. All of Honduran nationality, are helping the authorities with their enquiries.

In a statement, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) said that photographs of the batch including the design of containers and labels, “suggest…that it is a fake substance which has nothing to do with the original vaccine.”

“The shipment’s procedure was also in violation of packaging and transportation protocols for the official Sputnik V vaccine,” it said.

Anti-Counterfeit Packaging Market by Technology, End-Use Industry and Region - Global Forecast to 2025

Each vial of the jab has a unique QR-code, allowing it to be traced through the supply chain. Sputnik V should be transported only by authorised carriers required to make sure temperature and security controls are in adhered to.

“RDIF and Russian government entities will continue to cooperate with governments and partners around the world to jointly identify fake Sputnik V vaccines and ensure security of the Russian vaccine and its global supply chain,” said the organisation.

While it seems most likely that the falsification was carried out by criminals for financial gain, the RDIF suggests that it could be “aimed at discrediting Sputnik V vaccine,” in another example of the politicisation of coronavirus vaccinations.

Last month, police in northern Mexico took six people into custody on suspicion of trafficking in counterfeit coronavirus vaccines, specifically the Pfizer/BioNTech’s Comirnaty shot.

The action took place shortly after the Mexican authorities warned that organised criminal networks have set up laboratories to manufacture falsified vaccines for COVID-19, and also planned to steal legitimate stocks in the supply chain.

Related articles:

     Want our news sent directly to your inbox?

Yes please 2


Home  |  About us  |  Contact us  |  Advertise  |  Links  |  Partners  |  Privacy Policy  |   |  RSS feed   |  back to top