As the threat of a third wave of Coronavirus pandemic is lingering, experts are competently giving out warnings regarding the dangers the virus can cause and not letting our guards down.  

Amid several controversies around Covid vaccines, news on fake vaccines has been going around the clocks that have also hit Punjab.  

Health authorities have given strict instructions to hospitals and vaccine centres to remain cautious of fake vaccines.

A letter issued in this regard has been shared with the state governments and also on behalf of the state governments to the Civil surgeons of the district. Vaccine centres administering Covishield shots have been alerted to fake Covishield.  

WHO has issued a notice alerting southeast Asia and Africa regarding the circulation of fake covid vaccines in the market. This has also been confirmed by the company. 

According to the letter issued by the Centre, the consignment of the Covishield vaccine was not supplied by the manufacturer. Soon, after receiving the letter, the vaccine batch was investigated and was confirmed to be fake. It is believed that more cases of fake vaccine supply may come to the fore in the coming days. 

District Immunization Officer, Amritsar, Dr Renu Bhatia said that fake vaccine news has increased their challenges, as till now people were motivated to get vaccinated but now it will be a struggle for them to convince people to take the shots. 

Reports, on fake vaccines, can create confusion among people. Instructions have been given to maintaining a special vigil in this regard while monitoring the supply chain will also be intensified. 

 Dr Bhatia said that all necessary precautions have been taken by the civil surgeon to ensure a proper supply of medicines. Apart from this, medicines are sent from the Distribution Centre after a thorough examination. 

But the issue lies with the private centres, who get their own supplies. The government agency presently is not investigating Covishield vaccine consignments being delivered to them. Private centres buying vaccine shots will have to keep a watch on the batches of the vaccines. 

The World Health Organisation has given tips on how to identify fake vaccines. A genuine Covishield vial will have a Serum Institute of India label shaded in dark green. The brand name with the trademark and dark green aluminium flip-off seal. 

The SII logo is printed on the adhesive of the label and at a different angle, which only those equipped with can accurately identify. The letters are printed in special white ink to be more clear and readable.

According to the parameters, a special texture is assigned to the entire label, which is visible only at a specific angle. 

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