One in four consumers would buy a COVID jab online, says poll

A survey has found that 28 per cent of consumers could consider sourcing a COVID-19 vaccine online, particularly if they were able to buy it from an official source.

The poll of more than 1,100 consumers indicated that the respondents would only buy a shot online if they believed it was genuine, but that could still leave them vulnerable to fraudsters who might try to sell fake vaccines through sites mocked up to look like legitimate sources, according to, which compiled the study.

"57 per cent said that they would never buy the coronavirus vaccine online [but] the remaining 43 per cent might be susceptible to scams if the scammer is clever enough," says the report.

There have already been reports of falsified coronavirus vaccines being intercepted by law enforcement in multiple countries around the world.

The finding was part of an annual report analysing the willingness of consumers to buy counterfeit products online, which found that 75 per cent of respondents had bought a fake in the past, and 57 per cent had done so in the last 12 months.

A third of those who had bought a fake were deceived into the purchase, while one in five did so knowingly and 24 per cent were not sure when they parted with money for the goods.

Other notable findings in the report included that by far the most common source of counterfeits was websites (39 per cent), ahead of online marketplaces like Amazon, eBay and Alibaba  (28 per cent) that have been targeted by brand protection efforts in recent years.

Physical stores and social media sites were both named as sources by 22 per cent of consumers in the survey.

Consumers buy fakes primarily as they believe that there will be no significant difference in quality (17 per cent), according to However, a lower price (15 per cent) and the feeling that the real brand is overpriced (11 per cent) are also cited as reasons for purchase.

They are however concerned about the implications of buying counterfeits, and are aware that counterfeits support crime and human exploitation.

The biggest barriers to buying them are however questions about quality, cited by 42 per cent of those surveyed, and the belief that buying fakes online is not safe, as their financial data may be misused (37 per cent) or the product not delivered (31 per cent).

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