COVID-19

Uganda: Hundreds of People Receive Fake Covid Vaccines

Ugandan authorities said on Wednesday that about 800 people received one or more injections of the fake Covid-19 vaccine in Uganda. Fake vaccines, sometimes mixed with water, were introduced between May and June, in the midst of a wave of coronavirus infections in the country, averaging 1,700 new infections per day.

Scammers targeted vaccine candidates willing to pay to inject them when Uganda was running low on doses for its free vaccination campaign, explained Dr. Warren Naamara, in charge of the health monitoring presidency. “Unscrupulous people, with the intention of making money, have deceived the population with false vaccines against Covid-19,” Dr. Naamara told AFP. “Two medical workers have been arrested and one doctor is in hiding,” he said.

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The people – almost 800 – who received these injections need not worry, as tests show that the vials do not contain any dangerous product, but “some contain only water,” the same official said. The scammers charged 80,000 to 500,000 Ugandan shillings ($ 25 to $ 120) for each injection.

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The Health Ministry recalled on Wednesday that the government provided free and approved Covid-19 vaccines at designated vaccination sites. Since 18 June, infections and deaths have skyrocketed in Uganda, where President Yoweri Museveni has ordered a strict curfew and a 42-day ban on public and private transport. Since then, the number of infections has dropped, with 252 new cases being reported every day. Uganda has reported 91,162 cases and 2,425 deaths from the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic, according to the latest tally by health authorities on Wednesday.

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