Health Canada warns that COVID-19 vaccines sold online could do more harm than good

Online vaccines won't protect against COVID and could pose as a serious health risk

Health Canada is sounding the alarm over phony COVID-19 vaccines being sold online.

The health service says vaccines sold on the Internet or through unauthorized sources are counterfeit and could pose serious health risks, not to mention the fact these false formulae are ineffective at protecting against COVID-19.

“Selling counterfeit drugs or vaccines is a criminal activity that poses serious risks to the health and safety of Canadians,” reads a Health Canada statement. “Health Canada takes this issue seriously and is working with international partners and other government departments and agencies, such as the Canada Border Services Agency, to help protect Canadians. The International Criminal Police Organization, INTERPOL, has issued a global alert to law enforcement across its 194 member countries warning them of this issue.”

Health Canada offers the following advice in considering COVID-19 vaccines:

  • Do not buy or use COVID-19 vaccines sold on the internet or from unauthorized sources as they are counterfeit, may pose risks to health, and are ineffective at protecting an individual from the COVID-19 virus.
  • 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.
  • Consult a healthcare professional if you have any concerns about the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Report any information on the sale or advertising of potential counterfeit COVID-19 vaccines to Health Canada 
  • Visit reliable and trusted sources of information, like the Government of Canada’s websites and, and your local public health authority’s website.
  • Report any health product adverse events to Health Canada