Authorities in Mexico have seized a batch of fake doses of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine against COVID-19, the Russian Direct Investment Fund, responsible for exports of the drug, said on Thursday.
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“Earlier today Mexican authorities seized a batch of vaccines designed and packaged as Sputnik V,” the RDIF sovereign wealth fund said.
“Analysis of the photographs of the seized batch, including the design of containers and labels, suggests that it is a fake substance which has nothing to do with the original vaccine,” the fund said in a statement.
The General Administration of Customs, in coordination with the Mexican Army, seized the fake Russian Sputnik V vaccines at the Campeche International Airport. The doses were intended to be sent in a private aircraft to Honduras according to officials.
Customs personnel conducted a standard search of the private aircraft, which was destined for the San Pedro Sula International Airport, in Honduras, when the fake vaccines were found.
Two coolers with 1,155 vials, the equivalent of 5,775 doses of the fake Russian vaccine, were found inside the private plane, hidden between soft drinks, sweets and ice inside the containers.
Currently, the Mexican Army and Air Force are solely responsible for transporting and distributing coronavirus vaccines in Mexico.
In addition, 32 redistribution centers were established in the country, as well as “Roadrunner Brigades” in each of the hospital facilities. Within these brigades, there are four elements from the secretariats of National Defense, Navy and Security and Citizen Protection through the National Guard.
They also accompany two federal agents, two social programs advocates, a nurse, a doctor, and two volunteers.
Among the functions performed by the Armed Forces in the Roadrunner brigades are: protecting the integrity of the work team, protecting the operation, and protecting the product until its application.