Sad, But True: Beware Counterfeits in the Time of COVID-19
The professionals at Clark Seif Clark provide infection control consulting, employee training, indoor environmental quality testing, PPE expertise and third-party project management verification services to assess cleaning and disinfection protocols.
Chatsworth, CA -- It’s nothing short of miraculous that COVID-19 tests, N95 respirators and SARS-CoV2 vaccines were made available so quickly. But, sadly we are compelled to ask…are they real or counterfeit?
Since December of 2019, herculean efforts have resulted in amazing strides in warp speed towards development, supply and distribution of disease-confirming analytical tools, disease-mitigating safety devices and disease-prophylactic vaccines. All this is great news is a testament to the power of people working towards a cause.
Now, the bad news…. Ne'er-do-wells exist. They always have. Sadly, counterfeits are out there: counterfeit COVID-19 tests, counterfeit N95 respirators and counterfeit COVID-19 vaccines. They are affecting people on multiple continents.
March 4, 2021 The Washington Post reported “Fake coronavirus vaccine seizures in several countries are ‘tip of the iceberg,’ Interpol warns” wherein they say “South African authorities recently seized 400 vials, which held around 2,400 doses, of counterfeit vaccines from a warehouse outside Johannesburg, Interpol said in a report Wednesday. The illicit stash also included fake 3M masks.”
March 18, 2021 The Associated Press reported “Mexico seizes fake Sputnik vaccine bound for Honduras” wherein they say “Mexican customs officials have seized purported vials of the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine en route to Honduras…”
Pardon the pun, but even the United States is not immune to deception.
February 7, 2021 KMO News reported “WSHA: Hundreds of thousands of counterfeit N95 masks purchased by Washington hospitals.”
“The Washington State Hospital Association says hundreds of thousands of N95 masks bought by local hospitals and the association are counterfeit.” “…so far the issue has impacted dozens of hospitals across the state…”
“News of counterfeit life, health and safety products are particularly disheartening since these prey upon the desperation spurred by a global pandemic,” said Derrick A. Denis, Disaster Ready Emergency Preparedness and Infection Control (DR EPIC) Program Industrial Hygienist for Clark Seif Clark (CSC). “Counterfeit products such as vaccines and N95 respirators likely do not protect you or those in your charge as you expect. At best, you simply do not get what you paid for. At worst, these fraudulent products result in otherwise avoidable injuries, illnesses or deaths.”
- What can people do to protect themselves from fraud?
- Maintain a buyer beware attitude.
- Use known reputable sources for supply.
- Always consult with a licensed medical professional to obtain a COVID-19 vaccine or treatment.
- Do not purchase COVID-19 vaccines and treatments over the internet.
- Ignore unsolicited offers for vaccinations and miracle treatments or cures.
- Don’t respond to texts, emails or robocalls about vaccines and treatments.
- Be wary of ads on social media.
- We citizens are all responsible to protect one another, so report any suspicious activity involving COVID-19 vaccines, treatments, equipment, etc.
- If one sees or suspects fraud, report it.
- Report counterfeit masks to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) through their reporting system, or by calling 1-800-BE-ALERT.
- Report any counterfeit products to the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center online (https://www.iprcenter.gov/referral/), or by telephone at 1-866-IPR-2060.
- Report counterfeit vaccines, treatments, PPE, Cares Act fraud, or consumer fraud or fraudulent websites to Operation Stolen Promise | ICE (https://www.ice.gov/topics/operation-stolen-promise).
- Report suspicious activity involving COVID-19 vaccines and treatments to COVID19FRAUD@dhs.gov
To learn more about this or other infection control, industrial hygiene, building science, environmental, health and safety services, please visit www.csceng.com, email email@example.com or call (800) 807-1118.
About Clark Seif Clark
CSC was established to help clients in both public and private sectors address indoor air quality, occupational, environmental, and health and safety (EH&S) issues. CSC is a leading provider of these services with multiple offices along the western seaboard and southwest. The company believes in science-based protocols and has a strong background in engineering, making them the preferred environmental consultants to industrial clients, healthcare facilities, architects, schools, builders, contractors, developers and real estate professionals.