How to identify fake COVID-19 vaccines? Centre issues guidelines
The Union Health Ministry shared a list of parameters with the states and Union territories to identify the authentic versions of Covishield, Covaxin and Sputnik V vaccines.
September 05, 2021 / 04:40 PM IST
(Representative image: Reuters)
Amid warning issued by the World Health Organisation (WHO) over the sale of counterfeit doses of Covishield vaccine in South-east Asia and Africa, the Centre has issued a list of guidelines to identify the fake COVID-19 vaccines.
The Union Health Ministry, on September 5, shared a list of parameters with the states and Union territories to identify the authentic versions of Covishield, Covaxin and Sputnik V -- the three vaccines being currently used for the mass inoculation drive in India.
Also Read | Over 68 crore Covid vaccine doses administered in India so far: GovtHere are the parameters to check whether Covishield vaccine is authentic:
- Label colour shade is dark green, as per approved art work while colour of the aluminium flip off seal is dark green.
- Brand name with trademark is mentioned on the original vaccine
- The lettering is printed in special white ink to be more clear and readable. The general trend is to keep white lettering in reverse and just print the solid color. The text font of the Generic name is in un-bold
- The SII logo is printed at a unique angle and position which can be only identified by a select few who are aware of the exact details
Parameters to check the authenticity of Covaxin:
- The entire label has been given a special texture honeycomb effect which is visible only at a specific angle. To make it foolproof, the honeycomb design has also been altered slightly at certain strategic locations.
- Invisible UV helix on label which is only visible under UV light
- Micro Text hidden in label claims Dots, which is written as Covaxin
Parameters to check the authenticity of Sputnik V:
- Holographic effect has been given on Covaxin.
- Imported products are from two different bulk manufacturing sites from Russia and hence, there are two different labels for both these sites. While all the information and design is the same, only the manufacturer name is different
- For all the imported products till now, the English label is only available on the front and back of the carton of 5 ampoule pack while for all other sides, including the primary label on the ampoule, is in Russian.
The guidelines come nearly a month after Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said the government is probing the claims of duplicate Covishield vaccines being allegedly sold by criminal elements.
“It has been claimed that duplicate versions of the Covishield vaccine were sold in the country. The Indian government is probing this claim and will take action if it found any substance to the allegations," Mandaviya had said.
Notably, the authentic vials of Covishield -- the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine -- is being manufactured and sold by the Pune-based Serum Institute of India.
Covaxin is being manufactured and sold by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech Limited, whereas, Russian-made Sputnik V is being procured and supplied by its registered domestic pharmaceutical partners including Dr Reddy's Laboratories.