Updated September 3rd, 2021 at 07:02 IST

WHO confirms fake Covishield vaccines in Myanmar; urges more vigilance in supply chains

The World Health Organization, on Thursday, 2 September, released pictures of fake COVID-19 vaccines found in Myanmar. The labels were misspelt 'Covisheld'

Srishti Goel
Image: PTI | Image:self

The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Thursday released pictures of fake Covishield vaccines found in Myanmar. The genuine Covishield producer (Serum Institute of India Pvt. Ltd.) has confirmed that the items mentioned in the alert were fake, WHO informed. 

WHO has recommended the Covishield vaccine for active vaccination of those aged 18 and above against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19. WHO said in a statement that official guidelines from national regulatory agencies should be followed while using authentic COVID-19 vaccines.

'Falsified products reported in Uganda, India, and Myanmar'

WHO noted, "This WHO Medical Product Alert refers to falsified COVISHIELD (ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 Corona Virus Vaccines (Recombinant) identified in the WHO African Region, and the WHO South-East Asia Region. The falsified products were reported to WHO in July and August 2021. The genuine manufacturer of COVISHIELD (Serum Institute of India Pvt. Ltd.) has confirmed that the products listed in this alert are falsified. These falsified products have been reported at the patient level in Uganda, India and Myanmar."

According to the World Health Organisation, the following products have been validated as being fabricated because they intentionally misrepresent their identity, composition, or source:

1. Batch 4121Z040 - the expiry date (10.08.2021) on this product is falsified
2. COVISHIELD 2ml - the genuine manufacturer does not produce COVISHIELD in 2ml (4 doses).
3. Batch 4126Z079 - the batch number on this product is falsified and the product name: COVISHELD is  not the correct spelling 

WHO urges for heightened vigilance 

WHO urged heightened vigilance in the supply chains of nations and areas that are likely to be impacted by these forged goods. Hospitals, clinics, health centres, wholesalers, distributors, pharmacies, and other medical goods suppliers were asked to remain on high alert.

The world healht body said, "WHO requests increased vigilance within the supply chains of countries and regions likely to be affected by these falsified products. Increased vigilance should include hospitals, clinics, health centers, wholesalers, distributors, pharmacies, and any other suppliers of medical products."

The organisation also mentioned that all medical supplies must be purchased from approved and authorised vendors and the legitimacy and physical quality of the merchandise should be thoroughly examined. "If you're unsure, see a healthcare expert. Please do not utilise any of the above-mentioned goods if you have them," WHO emphasised.

National regulatory and health authorities were advised to immediately notify WHO if the fraudulent items are identified in their respective countries.

(Image: PTI)


Published September 3rd, 2021 at 07:02 IST

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