Interpol’s secretary general, Dr Jürgen Stock, has warned that the authorities are expecting a significant spike in thefts, as criminals attempt to steal supplies of Covid-19 vaccines.
Stock raised concerns about the potential situation facing governments, as countries around the world prepare for and seek to conduct mass vaccination campaigns, following the authorization of several Covid-19 vaccines by medical agencies.
With vaccines rolling out, crime will increase dramatically. We will see thefts and warehouse break-ins and attacks on vaccine shipments.
To counter this, countries are considering using police escorts to protect shipments from potential criminal activity. Germany is reportedly planning to deploy the federal police to ensure vaccines are safely transported from undisclosed storage facilities to medical distribution centers.
Alongside his initial concerns, the Interpol chief predicted that incidents of corruption could be on the rise, as people attempt to secure the vaccine quicker or jump the queue through illicit means.
Stock’s comments follow a global alert that was issued by Interpol last week outlining their fear of potential illegal activity linked to the false advertising and theft of Covid-19 and flu vaccines, as criminals seek to take advantage of the chaos caused by the ongoing global pandemic.
Sixteen countries have approved the Pfizer/BionNTech vaccine for use, with the European Medicines Agency expected to follow suit in the next few days, allowing the jab to be rolled out across the EU. Russia has already begun inoculating people with its Sputnik V vaccine, and Belarus has announced it will conduct clinical trials with the drug to see if it’s safe to use in their country. Over the weekend, the US approved Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use, though it has not yet been administered to people outside of clinical trials.
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