Health Ministry urges public to avoid purchasing fake Covid-19 vaccines online


Those offering medicine and health products online are urged to be responsible sellers by the Health Ministry. — AFP

PETALING JAYA: The Health Ministry (MOH) has urged members of the public to avoid purchasing vaccines claimed to be able to prevent and treat Covid-19 that are offered by online sellers.

In a post uploaded on Facebook today (Jan 18), MOH said the vaccines that are being touted by sellers on the Internet are most likely counterfeits, unregistered, and may even contain unidentified components. As such, their quality, safety and effectiveness is not guaranteed by the Ministry.

The post also stated that sellers are not allowed to advertise vaccines claiming that they could prevent Covid-19 on all forms of media.

MOH added that advertising health-related products without approval from the Medicine Advertisement Board is an offence under Section 4B of the Medicines Act (Advertisement and Sale) 1956. If convicted, offenders face a fine of no more than RM3,000 or a one-year prison sentence, or both.

Those offering medicine and health products online are urged to be responsible sellers by the Health Ministry.

The post has since received more than 6,000 likes with over 300 comments from users. One user claimed to have encountered a seller promoting their product as a ‘vaccine’ in a WhatsApp chat group.

Another user said it’s about time the Health Ministry highlighted the issue as he had a friend who promoted coconut water as a so-called cure.

The issue of fake vaccines being offered online have become widespread during the Covid-19 pandemic, as scammers are taking the opportunity to fool gullible victims.

Last year, Interpol issued a warning of how organised crime networks could be targeting unsuspecting members of the public with websites offering fake Covid-19 vaccines or cures.

Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin in a report on Jan 16 said Malaysia in on track to receive the first delivery of Covid-19 vaccines before the end of February 2021.

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