Organized crime has taken advantage of false vaccination campaigns and the sale of illegal vaccines in Mexico that put the health of the population at risk and show their ability to organize fraudulent businesses.
“It was found with the influenza vaccine, with the COVID-19 tests and now with the Pfizer vaccine, which puts the health of the population at serious risk”, pointed to EFE Raúl Sapién Santos, president of the National Council for Private Security (CNSP) of Mexico.
Fraud, detected mainly in Mexico City, State of Mexico, Quintana Roo and Tijuana, consists of the sale of apocryphal vaccines against COVID-19 through social networks and illegal internet pages.
Pfizer already warned on January 6 on its official Twitter account that “The Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine for COVID-19 It is not for sale in any private channel at the moment ”.
Confirmed that some non-Pfizer sites and phone numbers have been detected “Where third parties offer the vaccine for sale. This information is false ”.
The Federal Ministry of Health has not yet responded to questions about the fraudulent sale of the vaccine.
The situation has led to the point that it is no longer necessary to analyze how the vaccine will be falsified, but how quickly they will do it (Photo: Jair Cabrera Torres / dpa)
Sapién Santos highlighted that, unfortunately, the illegal purchase of medicines and supplies is not something new in Mexico.
“More than 8 million people in the country consume stolen drugs, which causes losses of about 1,000 million pesos (50.3 million dollars) annually, “he said.
He explained that although this problem was seen long before COVID-19, with the arrival of the pandemic it has worsened due to the desperation of people to know if they are infected, find a treatment or find a cure.
“They have been detected more than 400 apocryphal pages that offer the vaccine, or that offer from masks, rapid tests, up to many oxygen through websites that are fake ”, he stated.
He regretted that the marketing of all these vaccines and bogus tests could mask even more the indicators currently presented by the Ministry of Health and exponentially shoot the black figure in the number of infections and deaths from COVID-19.
He indicated that the situation has led to the point that it is no longer necessary to analyze how the vaccine will be falsifiedIt is the speed with which criminal groups will react to promote it.
“That is why it is important know what steps the federal government must take such as the Federal Commission for the Protection against Sanitary Risks (Cofepris) to dismantle criminals ”, he stated.
Over time, the number of groups offering vaccines illegally is likely to increase and fraud related to the pandemic will increase. (Photo: Cuartoscuro)
For the security expert Juan Carlos Montero, it is not uncommon for organized crime to break into this area since “Any product that can generate a black market can generate a criminal organization”he pointed.
He pointed out that people do not usually see this as a crime because it is justified “by saying that it is unfair that just for not having access to a product like the vaccine, it can be commercialized illegally ”.
He added that over time it is likely to increase the number of groups offering the vaccines illegally and fraud related to the pandemic increases.
Sapién Santos called on the population to be alert so as not to fall for this type of scam but, above all, not to put their health at risk.
“Mexicans are not only at risk of dying from covid-19, but also from the application of apocryphal vaccines that do not contain a real solution to fight the virus “he pointed.
For specialists, the risk of people accessing apocryphal vaccines is high.
“What can offer them water or some other substance that can cause adverse effects and interact with, and possibly interfere with, essential medications, ”said Dr. Rodrigo Romero, academic coordinator of the Mexican Association of Vaccination.
Mexico has so far more than 1.5 million cases and 136,917 deaths and has been one of the first countries to start vaccination against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.
In this sense, the allergist and immunologist David Mendoza stressed that especially the COVID-19 vaccine requires specific logistics preparationTherefore, if it is sold illegally, it can cause changes in the effectiveness and safety of the biological.
“What can happen is that when applying the vaccine is not effective enough or that if it is mishandled and there is a bacteria, can cause health effects, “he said. In addition, he warned that on some occasions these could even be fatal.
Both specialists recalled that until today the vaccine against COVID-19 only It is available through the Government, so they asked to be aware of the alerts from Cofepris and, in case of doubts, consult institutions such as the Mexican Association of Vaccination.
Finally, Sapién Santos indicated that the work against this type of crime must be carried out by the Government but that the population must be alert.
“It is a problem that must be seen in a comprehensive manner and for this it is also necessary for people to have a culture of reporting,” he said.
Mexico has so far more than 1.5 million cases and 136,917 deaths and has been one of the first countries to start vaccination against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, although for now only health personnel have been immunized.
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