Health Canada is warning Canadians to not buy any COVID-19 vaccines on the internet or from unauthorized sources as these are counterfeit and may pose serious health risks.
“Counterfeit COVID-19 vaccines may pose serious health risks, and are ineffective at protecting an individual from the COVID-19 virus,” says Health Canada.
Health Canada says it evaluates the safety, efficacy and quality of any drug or vaccine before it can be legally sold in Canada and all vaccines require specific storage conditions in order to maintain their quality.
COVID-19 vaccines have a tightly-controlled supply chain, and will only be provided through clinics endorsed by public health authorities.
Health Canada said it is taking the issue of counterfeit COVID-19 vaccines very seriously and is working with international partners and other government departments and agencies, such as the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), to help protect Canadians.
Health Canada is also asking people to report any counterfeit vaccine.
“The only way to access safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines is through clinics organized or endorsed by your local public health authority in collaboration with Canada’s federal, provincial and territorial governments,” the agency said.
On December 9, 2020, Health Canada authorized the first vaccine in Canada for the prevention of COVID-19.