Pfizer uncovers counterfeit COVID vaccine distribution in Poland

Pfizer Inc. says it has identified in Mexico and Poland the first confirmed instances of counterfeit versions of the Covid-19 vaccine it developed with BioNTech SE, the latest attempt by criminals trying to exploit the world-wide vaccination campaign.

Vials seized by authorities in separate investigations were tested by the company and confirmed to contain bogus vaccine. The vials recovered in Mexico also had fraudulent labeling, while a substance inside vials in Poland was likely an antiwrinkle treatment, Pfizer said.

Polish authorities said no one there had received the counterfeit vaccine, which was seized at a man’s apartment.

The findings are the latest in an effort between law enforcement and drugmakers such as Pfizer, Moderna Inc. and Johnson & Johnson to stem criminal activity related to the Covid-19 vaccines. The global rollout of shots has provided criminals a fresh opportunity to take advantage of unsuspecting people.

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