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Middlemen sell vaccines of unknown origin. There may be a black market for vaccines in Italy.

On December 27, in Rome, Italy, medical staff prepare for the coronavirus vaccination. Xinhuanet Picture

According to Reuters, an intermediary sold 27 million doses of Pfizer coronavirus vaccine of unknown origin to officials in northern Veneto, Italy. There may have been a black market for vaccine in Italy, and Italian police are investigating it.

The Guardian pointed out that at present, Italy’s coronavirus vaccination is centrally managed by the government, and pharmaceutical companies have signed contracts directly with the government.

According to the Associated Press, Luka Zaya, president of the Veneto region, said that after publicly expressing frustration with the plight of the shortage of vaccines in Italy and the confidentiality of EU vaccine contracts, he was contacted by brokers and said that Pfizer coronavirus vaccines of unknown origin were available.

Andrew Widger, spokesman for Pfizer Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., said that in the EU region, the coronavirus vaccine is provided directly to the government or the European Commission, and no coronavirus vaccine is provided to intermediaries.

On February 19, local time, Zaya said that he had notified the Italian Gendarmerie Health Police Force (NAS) to investigate the vaccines, Reuters reported. 

We don’t know whether the vaccine is good or bad, or just distilled water, we just do what we should do.”

Reuters commented that the emergence of these vaccines is very abnormal.

It is reported that Italian Founder is trying to find out whether there is a black market for vaccines.

Not only is Veneto region with unknown origin, but Italian police are investigating a fake representative of AstraZeneca Pharmaceutical Company in the United Kingdom who tried to provide Umbria officials with a coronavirus vaccine.

AstraZeneca Pharmaceutical Company of the United Kingdom said that it did not provide vaccines to the private sector at present, and the vaccines were likely to be counterfeit.

According to the Associated Press, Italy has recently been cracking down on e-commerce websites that sell fraudulent coronavirus drugs, coronavirus vaccines and related protective equipment. 

On February 19th, local time, the Italian gendarmerie announced the closure of four related e-commerce websites, and the number of e-commerce websites blocked has reached about 250.

European Commission President von der Leyen also warned this week that now that the number of frauds about the coronavirus vaccine continues to increase, the vaccine provided by the black market may be very dangerous.

According to The Guardian, so far, the Italian government has arranged 3.37 million doses of coronavirus vaccine, giving priority to medical staff and nursing home residents.

According to the latest WHO statistics, as of 16:18 CET on February 19 (23:18 Beijing time on February 19), Italy has more than 2.76 million confirmed cases and more than 94,000 deaths.

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