Yes and no. There are reports that drug dealers are selling what they claim is the Pfizer/BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine. So much so that Europol and cyber security experts are advising people to avoid buying vaccines on the dark web.
As said by Chad Anderson, a Senior Security Researcher at Domain Tools: “There is absolutely no guarantee that what you purchase from a dark web marketplace is what you will receive, and I would be honestly surprised in this case if these vaccines are legitimate. If they are, it shows a critical leak in the supply chain as Pfizer vaccines roll out in the UK. If they are not it shows that unvetted dark web marketplaces now proliferate and allow sellers to scam at will.”
As we know, the healthcare sector has been a big target for hackers. There has been news about state-sponsored actors in some cases trying to steal research on these vaccines. So, while it is possible that some criminal organization could have access to the vaccine, the reality is that what is being sold on the dark web is not genuine.
Beta News site a Vice article about the proliferation of COVID-19 vaccine doses for sale on the dark web. The science behind the vaccine: “the Pfizer/BioNTech mRNA vaccine, which has shown 95 percent efficacy in a Phase III trial with more than 43,000 participants, needs to be shipped and stored at -94°F (-70°C), and only lasts five days in refrigerated conditions. It therefor seems very unlikely that the vaccines being touted on the dark web are the real deal.” In other words, what is being sold on the dark web is very likely fake!
If something sounds too good to be true, it likely is. In the case of the COVID-19 vaccine, it is best to wait until it becomes available in your area through the usual health channels. The risk of buying a fake vaccine on the dark web isn’t just costly in dollars, it could cost your health and well-being.