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Virginia Attorney General Warns of COVID-19 Vaccine Scams

COVID-19 testing at a lab
(Crixell Matthews/VPM News)

Virginians should be on alert for any COVID-19 vaccine offers that are “too good to be true,” said Attorney General Mark Herring. Scams could include selling medications, treatments, or vaccines that claim to prevent or cure the coronavirus.

“Unfortunately, scammers will take advantage of Virginians’ excitement over the prospect of an effective vaccine just to make a buck,” Herring said. 

He told VPM on Monday that he hasn’t received any complaints of fraudulent vaccine offers yet. 

“Earlier in the pandemic, we saw examples of price gouging. We saw scams where people were pitching fake cures or treatments,” Herring said. “And so we know that it’s going to happen unfortunately.”

Here are a few things Herring said Virginians should look out for to avoid becoming the victim of a vaccine-related scam: 

Always make sure that you consult a medical professional or a doctor in order to get the COVID-19 vaccine or treatment

  • Do not buy any kind of COVID-19 vaccine or treatment over the internet or through an online pharmacy
  • Make sure that your doctor or physician is approved to administer any kind of COVID-19 vaccine or treatment
  • Ignore any unsolicited or “too good to be true” offers for vaccines, miracle cures, or treatments
  • Be wary of any online ads you may see for COVID-19 vaccines or treatments on social media
  • Do not respond to any unsolicited emails, text messages, or calls that are offering any kind of COVID-19 vaccine or treatment
  • Always talk with your doctor or another healthcare professional before you try any product claiming to treat, cure, or prevent COVID-19
  • Head to CDC.gov for clear and concise information on COVID-19. Additionally, visit the FDA’s Resources page to find out about treatments in development


Two companies, Pfizer and Moderna, are preparing to roll out their vaccines, which each company says is 95% effective.

Herring said there will be strict protocols for distributing vaccines in Virginia. 

The federal government asked states to come up with their own plans to distribute the vaccines using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s interim playbook.

 The first shipment of 480,000 vaccines will arrive by the end of December and will be administered to health care personnel and long-term care facility residents. That’s about 500,000 people throughout the state, according to the Virginia Department of Health.