Belgium health authorities urge residents to refrain from buying COVID-19 vaccines from unknown sellers

A bottle of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is pictured as the first batch is being defrosted at the Gasthuisberg hospital in Leuven, Belgium

Belgium’s health authorities are urging residents to refrain from buying COVID-19 vaccines online, in shops or directly in the streets from unknown sellers.

Sabine Stordeur, who co-chairs Belgium’s vaccination task force, told a news conference on Tuesday that those doses are very often fake vaccines primarily originating in Russia.

She said their efficacy and security have not been approved and that the only safe and effective vaccines are administered in vaccination centers, hospitals and nursing homes.

Belgium is using the three coronavirus vaccines approved so far in the European Union that include Pfizer/BioNtech, Moderna and AstraZeneca. More than 370,000 people have received a COVID-19 shot in the country with 11.5 million inhabitants.

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