SAPS warns public against purchasing fake Covid-19 vaccines
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Pretoria - The South African Police Service (SAPS) is advising members of the public to be weary of unscrupulous persons who are selling fake Covid-19 vaccines.
The warning follows action by police in November last year which resulted in a raid of a warehouse and the arrest of four people in contravention of Counterfeit Goods Act, contravention of the Customs and Excise Act as well as contravention of the Medicines and Related Substances Act.
About 2 400 doses of the fake vaccine and fake masks worth R6-million were found at a warehouse in Germiston, Gauteng.
No approved vaccines are currently available for sale online or physically. Any person who buys these drugs is putting themselves at risk and giving their money to organised criminals, warned SAPS.
In the meantime, South Africa is likely to miss its target of inoculating as many as 1.5 million people against the coronavirus by the end of this month because sufficient shots aren't available, Deputy Health Minister Joe Phaahla said on Friday.
While the government has secured 11 million of the single-dose J&J shots, 20 million vaccines from Pfizer and additional supplies through the Covax facility and the African Union, they aren't due to arrive as soon as hoped, Bloomberg reported.
"We expect now only to complete 700 000 vaccines by the end of March," Phaahla said in an online briefing to lawmakers.
"We are expecting more Johnson & Johnson vaccines and some from Pfizer, but we will still be behind target. However, we hope to be back on track once production of the various vaccines ramps up."
Anyone with knowledge of individuals/companies selling Covid-19 vaccines is urged to report to the SAPS Crime Stop number 086 00 10111 or send tip-offs on MySAPS App.