Bogus COVID-19 vaccines – some selling for $1,000 a shot and some using an anti-wrinkle substance as an ingredient – were found in black markets around the world, Pfizer confirmed to The Wall Street Journal.
"Pfizer has identified counterfeit versions of its COVID-19 vaccine in Mexico and Poland," the company said in a statement. "We are cognizant that in this type of environment – fueled 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."
The New York-based pharmaceutical giant ascertained the vaccine’s fraudulence with microscopic tools and special light.
There were no reports of physical harm from the people who were administered shots.
"People were injected with distilled water," a health secretary told the newspaper.
A suspect in Poland was charged with fraud after an unspecified amount of Pfizer vials was discovered in his apartment.
The fake vaccine, which reportedly wasn’t dispensed to any people, contained hyaluronic acid, a skin-care material used to fight aging.
The Pfizer statement added that "no legitimate vaccine is sold online."
Pfizer said it's working with "governments, law enforcement, health care providers and others to combat this illegal trade."
In the United States, Pfizer has delivered 142,177,425 doses for use; 113,104,771 Pfizer doses have been administered; 43,276,992 have been fully vaccinated in the U.S. with the Pfizer vaccine.