foto: Fake MIGAL COVID-19 vaccine (photo credit: Courtesy)
A fake and potentially dangerous coronavirus vaccine is being sold in South America, MIGAL (The Galilee Research Institute) said late Tuesday.
Boxes with MIGAL’s Hebrew logo that contain small sealed vials of the fake vaccine and a set of counterfeit instructions for use - also in Hebrew - were discovered, a company release said.
The institute immediately informed the Foreign and Health ministries of the issue, which immediately intervened. The World Health Organization was contacted, as well as the health ministries in several South American countries, writes The Jerusalem Post.
An in-depth investigation is underway. Already, according to MIGAL CEO David Zigdon, one seller in Ecuador was found to be selling the fake vaccines for $380 each.
The release added that MIGAL’s website was recently also the target of a massive cyberattack.
The research institute has been in the headlines over the past several months of the coronavirus crisis because it is working on developing a novel COVID-19 vaccine.
The institute had previously developed a vaccine against the infectious bronchitis virus, a coronavirus strain that causes bronchial disease affecting poultry. The safety and effectiveness of the poultry vaccine has been proven in animal trials carried out at Israel’s Veterinary Institute. Now, the team is adapting the existing vaccine for humans to be used against COVID-19.