Don’t buy coronavirus vaccines off the internet, Health Canada warns Canadians

Click to play video: 'Easing fears around the COVID-19 vaccine'
Easing fears around the COVID-19 vaccine
Dr. Birinder Narang discusses the challenges of overcoming vaccine hesitancy among minority groups. – Dec 17, 2020

Health Canada is warning Canadians to be wary of potentially counterfeit coronavirus vaccines found on the internet or for sale from “unauthorized sources.”

Health Canada issued the statement Thursday, warning that any counterfeit vaccines could pose “serious health risks.”

“Do not buy COVID-19 vaccines online or from unauthorized sources,” the statement read. “The only way to access safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines is through clinics organized or endorsed by your local public health authority in collaboration with Canada’s federal, provincial and territorial governments.”

Governments across Canada have pledged to make vaccines free for everyone so people should not have to buy access to any of the approved vaccinations. Health Canada added that Canadians can only access the vaccine at clinics “organized or endorsed by your local public health authority.”

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Canada approved its first coronavirus vaccine — the Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA vaccine — on Dec. 9 and vaccinations have started at hospitals and clinics around the country for select groups of the most vulnerable Canadians.

The government confirmed Tuesday it was watching a “number of threat indicators” — or behaviours consistent with a threat — as the coronavirus vaccine arrived in Canada.

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“As I indicated before, there are a number of threat indicators that we are closely monitoring between the agencies, intelligence service, the law enforcement agencies,” said Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, speaking to reporters on Tuesday.

“The appropriate level of information is shared down the line to provinces and territories, to the law enforcement agencies, so that they take concrete actions.”


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