The World Health Organisation (WHO) has seized counterfeit versions of Covishield, India’s primary COVID-19 vaccine, in both India and Africa over the last month.
A statement from the organisation said the manufacturer, Serum Institute of India, confirmed the doses were fake.
The WHO warned that the falsified vaccines “pose a serious risk to global health and place an additional burden on vulnerable populations and health systems”.
“It is important to detect and remove these falsified products from circulation to prevent harm to patients,” the organisation said in the statement on its website.
The vaccines which are subject to a WHO Medical Alert in India and Uganda. Image: WHO
As the BBC reported, no official statement has been made by the Indian government, but local media has said the country’s health ministry is investigating the issue.
“Although we have a strong system to prevent such cases, with this development, the only thing we want to ensure is that no Indian received a fake vaccine,” an unidentified health official told the Mint news website.
Covishield is the primary COVID-19 vaccine administered in India, with more than 486 million doses distributed and about 13 percent of the population vaccinated so far.
Serum has also distributed Covishield to countries in Asia, Africa, and South America.
Image: Getty Images
This article originally appeared on Over60.