(ConservativePeak.com)- Remember when China flooded the Western market with fake COVID-19 tests? Well, now it looks as though shadowy international criminals have followed in the communist state’s footsteps by creating fake COVID vaccines and mixing them into the European supply chain.
This could be deadly!
Europol, the European law enforcement agency, is reportedly assisting one member state of the European Union in the investigation of a case of counterfeit COVID vaccines being sold on the black market.
With so many people already concerned about the real vaccine, the presence of fake vaccines on the market could cause yet more uncertainty and fear.
Europol spokesperson Jan Op Gen Oorth told the press that it is the “very first case” and that no specific details could be provided as the investigation is currently ongoing.
“It seems to be a counterfeit problem,” he said. “And it seems to be very, very close to the original product.”
So it could be that the vaccines almost work, but don’t have the same level of safety. Consumers also do not know where the vaccines were manufactured and whether or not they are injecting something dangerous into their veins.
Criminals appear to be attempting to fulfill the strong demand for COVID-19 vaccine in European countries where the rollout of the legitimate vaccine has been slow. Germany has famously lagged behind the United Kingdom in its vaccine rollouts, with a large portion of the country still skeptical about taking the vaccine in the first place.
Many EU member states are expected to go into “overdrive” to catch up with the rest of the world in delivering the COVID-19 vaccine as the continent faces a third wave of the virus.
Ironically, the United Kingdom leads Europe in vaccination numbers, after having left the European Union formally at the beginning of the year and implemented its own vaccine plan.
The European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) has warned that as many as one billion fake COVID-19 vaccines have already been offered to European countries, and new reports suggest that those vaccines are moving to the black market. And if Europe can’t catch up on vaccinations, it could see desperate people opting to take fake vaccines instead.
Op Gen Oorth described the public health crisis combined with an economic crisis as “perfect” for organized crime.
A report was also published last December by Europol, warning that there was likely to be an increase in the number of fake COVID-19 vaccines sold on the darknet.
A spokesperson from the World Health Organization said that they are monitoring the situation, but said that the “risk remains low in Europe.”