The Ghana Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) is warning the public against purchasing COVID-19 vaccines online following reports that South African authorities have seized hundreds of fake COVID-19 vaccines.

Already, the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) has issued a global alert that vaccines would be a prime target for criminal networks.

“The public and courier services including shippers and freight forwarders are further cautioned that any unauthorized imports of vaccines will be in contravention of … the Public Health Act and the FDA’s guidelines for Emergency Use Authorization of medical products,” a statement issued by the FDA said.


Fake vaccines

Some 400 ampoules – equivalent to around 2,400 doses – containing the fake vaccine have been found at a warehouse in South Africa, where officers also recovered a large quantity of fake 3M masks.

In China, police successfully identified a network selling counterfeit COVID-19 vaccines, raided the manufacturing premises, resulting in the arrest of some 80 suspects, and seized more than 3,000 fake vaccines on the scene.

“Whilst we welcome this result, this is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to COVID-19 vaccine-related crime,” International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) Secretary General Jürgen Stock said.


Vaccines approved for use in Ghana

Two COVID19 vaccines (Sputnik V and Oxford-AstraZeneca / Covishield) have been approved for use in Ghana by the FDA.

According to the health agency, the importation and deployment of the 2 vaccines are under the control of only the Ministry of Health and the Ghana Health Service.


By: Gifty Tracy Aminu