AVN 65.08 Increased By ▲ 0.08 (0.12%)
BAFL 31.15 No Change ▼ 0.00 (0%)
BOP 4.76 Increased By ▲ 0.05 (1.06%)
CNERGY 3.90 Increased By ▲ 0.02 (0.52%)
DFML 13.53 Decreased By ▼ -0.17 (-1.24%)
DGKC 41.45 Increased By ▲ 0.18 (0.44%)
EPCL 46.50 Decreased By ▼ -0.19 (-0.41%)
FCCL 11.35 Decreased By ▼ -0.07 (-0.61%)
FFL 5.07 Increased By ▲ 0.03 (0.6%)
FLYNG 5.88 Increased By ▲ 0.06 (1.03%)
GGL 9.95 No Change ▼ 0.00 (0%)
HUBC 64.98 Increased By ▲ 0.88 (1.37%)
HUMNL 5.71 Increased By ▲ 0.06 (1.06%)
KAPCO 27.98 Increased By ▲ 0.18 (0.65%)
KEL 2.17 Increased By ▲ 0.04 (1.88%)
LOTCHEM 24.65 Increased By ▲ 0.35 (1.44%)
MLCF 21.50 Increased By ▲ 0.10 (0.47%)
NETSOL 84.51 Increased By ▲ 0.31 (0.37%)
OGDC 87.77 Decreased By ▼ -0.17 (-0.19%)
PAEL 11.13 Increased By ▲ 0.23 (2.11%)
PIBTL 4.19 Increased By ▲ 0.01 (0.24%)
PPL 77.29 Decreased By ▼ -0.41 (-0.53%)
PRL 13.82 Increased By ▲ 0.20 (1.47%)
SILK 0.89 No Change ▼ 0.00 (0%)
SNGP 41.75 Decreased By ▼ -0.18 (-0.43%)
TELE 5.90 Increased By ▲ 0.03 (0.51%)
TPLP 15.82 Increased By ▲ 0.04 (0.25%)
TRG 111.65 Decreased By ▼ -0.65 (-0.58%)
UNITY 13.95 No Change ▼ 0.00 (0%)
WTL 1.15 Increased By ▲ 0.02 (1.77%)
BR100 4,061 Increased By 13.4 (0.33%)
BR30 14,501 Increased By 34.5 (0.24%)
KSE100 40,733 Increased By 59.5 (0.15%)
KSE30 15,245 Increased By 54.4 (0.36%)
World

Drug Dealers on the Dark Web are illegally selling 'Pfizer COVID Vaccines'

  • As the United Kingdom is slated to be the first country in the world to carry out a large-scale rollout of the Sars-CoV2 vaccine, the dark corners of the internet are inundated with the "Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine" for sale.
  • These unverified doses of the vaccine could cost as much as $1300 per dose; blatantly exploiting the unprecedented demand for vaccinations amidst the second wave of the pandemic.
Published December 4, 2020
Graphic: Hatim Salman Nusrat, Image Source: Reuters.
Graphic: Hatim Salman Nusrat, Image Source: Reuters.
Follow us

As the United Kingdom is slated to be the first country in the world to carry out a large-scale rollout of the Sars-CoV2 vaccine, the dark corners of the internet are inundated with the "Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine" for sale.

The United Kingdom has officially ordered 40 million doses of Pfizer/BioNTech's coronavirus vaccine, making it the first nation in the world to make the widely-lauded drug available for general use; with 800,000 doses expected to arrive within the next few days, and at least 50 hospitals across the country preparing for a staggered roll-out.

However, in the far-reaches of the internet, the "Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine" is making the rounds, and as reported by VICE News, these unverified doses of the vaccine could cost as much as $1300 per dose; blatantly exploiting the unprecedented demand for vaccinations amidst the second wave of the pandemic. The descriptions of these apparent vaccines on the dark web read "The doses of the COVID-19 vaccine [have] been developed by Pfizer and BioNTec", adding that “...we can deliver in any country".

Screenshot of vaccine advertisement from the Dark Web. Source: VICE News.
Screenshot of vaccine advertisement from the Dark Web. Source: VICE News.

Blatant profiteering during the pandemic is nothing new, which included a plethora of remedies being advertised online - including the Sanna Makki herb in Pakistan that proved to be a diarrhetic - or vendors buying off massive stocks of sanitisers and substandard protective gear, only to sell them off online for massive returns.

Unfortunately, in the midst of a crippling global pandemic and a virus that has claimed the lives of millions around the world, profiteering can come at the cost of human lives, and the apparently fabricated "vaccines" floating on the dark web are no different, and could have drastic consequences for those desperate to immunise themselves from the virus.

According to Dr. Barbara Mintzes, Associate Professor at the University of Sydney's Charles Perkins Center and School of Pharmacy, in an interview to VICE, urged consumers to remain vigilant, stating that "if a person is buying a prescription medicine or something like a vaccine, are they actually getting what they think they're getting? There is absolutely no assurance". Furthermore, she commented on the logistical complexities of shipping vaccines around the world, stating that "the vaccine needs to be kept at minus-70 degrees centigrade", and that a vial of the vaccine cannot simply be shipped out without certain precautionary measures.

These dangerous online profiteering scams can also have an impact on the supply chain of the vaccine itself, as in the United Kingdom, the government has designated an emergency use authorisation for the Pfizer vaccine, through which the doses will be released in batches to those who need it most - namely frontline healthcare workers, the elderly, and those vulnerable to pre-existing health conditions.

The "vaccines" on sale on the dark web, if legitimate, not only exposes loopholes in the supply chain mechanism, but effectively snatches the vaccinations from those who need it most, and diverts them to those willing to pay the highest price for it.

However, and more likely, if these "vaccines" are not legitimate, consumers could potentially be duped into paying a staggering amount of money for a toxic substance which could impact their health, or one that is completely benign, which could lure them into believing that they are vaccinated - when in reality, they would be extremely vulnerable to the virus, or worse, carrying it.

Digital security in the midst of the pandemic remains problematic, as a global phishing campaign has targeted organisations associated with the distribution of COVID-19, since September 2020. According to IBM X-Force IRIS analysts in a recent blog post, the phishing campaign has predominantly spanned across six regions, namely Germany, Italy, South Korea, Czech Republic, Eastern Europe and Taiwan, adding that "this phishing campaign may have been to harvest credentials, possibly to gain future unauthorised access to corporate networks and sensitive information relating to the COVID-19 vaccine distribution".

The international community awaits in anticipation to secure their own regulatory approval for the vaccine, which is said to offer approximately 95 percent protection against the virus - yet for most countries, especially those in the developing world, this process could take months.

Comments

Comments are closed.

Drug Dealers on the Dark Web are illegally selling 'Pfizer COVID Vaccines'

Intra-day update: rupee maintains positive momentum against US dollar

Fitch says PKR to further weaken

Country braces for fuel shortages?

IMF revises GDP growth projections downward

Govt plans to convert Rs800bn PHL debt into public debt

Paracetamol: govt to allow increase in price

Former CM Parvez Elahi claims his residence raided by police

Jul-Dec: govt has borrowed $5.595bn

Nepra FCA decision: Power Div proposes revision

KE, Discos: Nepra approves negative tariff adjustments