Health Ministry warns against fake COVID-19 vaccines

Many domestic and foreign organizations and businesses have contacted the Ministry of Health to suggest providing vaccines against COVID-19.

 

However, the manufacturers of vaccines offered for sale on the market have not authorized these organizations to sell their vaccines.

The Ministry of Health said on March 10 that the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol), and the Chinese and South African Police had recently arrested many people involved in the sale of fake COVID-19 vaccines. Interpol has also received more reports of counterfeit vaccine distribution and fraudulent activity targeting health authorities.

In Vietnam, many domestic and foreign organizations and enterprises have submitted registration dossiers to the Ministry of Health to offer for sale COVID-19 vaccines produced by Moderna (USA) and AstraZeneca.

However, these vaccine manufacturers have not authorized these organizations and individuals to sell their vaccines.

On March 1, AstraZeneca confirmed that apart from the COVAX Facility program, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the Vietnam Vaccine Joint Stock Company (VNVC), AstraZeneca has not authorized any other company, organization, or individual to supply its COVID-19 vaccine in Vietnam.

Moderna has also confirmed that it has not authorized any party to register, sell and import COVID-19 vaccines for Vietnam. Other vaccine manufacturers such as Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson all have subsidiaries in Vietnam.

For the Russian Sputnik vaccine, the Russian Embassy in Vietnam stated that purchase, sale, and cooperation need to be discussed directly with the Russian Direct Investment Fund. China and India also said that the purchase and import of COVID-19 vaccines must be approved by the government.

On February 15, the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) warned governments about fraud and scams related to the purchase and sale of COVID-19 vaccines.

In its statement, OLAF said organizations and individuals are impersonating others to offer fake vaccines, in order to deceive EU member governments that are trying to speed up vaccinations.

The fraud may include: claiming to be a commercial representative of vaccine manufacturers and claiming possession or having access to COVID-19 vaccine; offering large quantities of vaccines to Government or organizations, providing sample vaccines to receive deposits and then appropriating money; providing fake COVID-19 vaccines.

To ensure access to COVID-19 vaccines for the Vietnamese, the Ministry of Health encourages all eligible businesses to negotiate with COVID-19 vaccine suppliers in the world to import vaccines for domestic use.

However, in order to ensure an adequate and safe supply of vaccines, the Ministry of Health recommends that agencies and organizations, when receiving information on cooperation on the provision of COVID-19 vaccines, should be cautious and carefully verify information to ensure legal, financial and commercial safety.

They can ask relevant authorities (Ministry of Health, Ministry of Public Security, diplomatic and trade agencies...) to help verify information related to the supply of vaccines.

At the same time, the negotiation and purchase of COVID-19 vaccines should be promptly reported to the Ministry of Health. This will ensure smooth import and use as well as management of the source and organization of vaccination in accordance with the Government's direction on the purchase and use of COVID-19 vaccines.

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