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Health Officials Warn Of Coronavirus Vaccine Scams On Black Market – CBS Pittsburgh

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Shipments of the coronavirus vaccine are being sent out across the country, but many people believe it’s not fast enough.

Some people are panicking as they search for a dose.

“People are willing to go above and beyond, whether it’s driving from Erie or Ohio, driving three to four hours to come get vaccinated, and right now I have nothing to give them,” said Pharmacist Alex LaVella at Hilltop Pharmacy.

With minimal supply available, people are turning to the internet.

“There has become somewhat of a black market, whether it’s just with the empty vials or potential for a last dose or anything that is in them,” LaVella said.

To attempt to eliminate the scams, the Healthcare Distribution Alliance is asking providers to break the vaccine bottles when empty.

“It eliminates the black market for it or the chance that someone would refill it and try to sell it for a profit and hurt someone else,” LaVella said.

Plus LaVella said if an actual dose of the vaccine was being sold online, it wouldn’t be any good.

“Once they are out of the freezer, you have a really short time frame to use them, especially once they’ve been drawn or the bottle has been punctured. If you are going to buy a punctured vial, it would have to be from me to you. It would have to be very close, not over the internet, not shipping,” LaVella said.

While local pharmacists work through the changing guidance, they are asking the public to be patient.

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