SEATTLE--We've heard about a lot of scammers using the pandemic to their benefit. Now, the Washington State Attorney General's Office says we're seeing it on another level. Today Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced a lawsuit filed against a company that claimed to have created a vaccine for COVID-19 in just half a day, and administered the supposed vaccine to anyone who was willing to pay a pretty penny for it.
Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson has a little advice for all of us: "Be so cautious when it comes to anything you see related to the pandemic that seems too good to be true. A vaccine, an easy way to get money, anything that looks suspicious use cautious anytime, but especially now." About 30 Washingtonians learned things the hard way, paying $400 a pop for a supposed COVID-19 vaccine that the AG's office says was administered by the owner of the company, North Coast Biologics. There's not much out there about the Redmond based LLC, other than it appears to have a focus on "the antibody generation." The AG's office says filing the law suit was necessary in order to protect the public.
"I would say this is one of the more severe Covid scams, for one because you're charging $400 that's real money to folks who are hurting right now economically, and two you’re promising something you can't deliver: a vaccine, a solution to this fear that many of us are feeling right now and its preying on this fear and uncertainty that many Washingtonians are feeling about their health."
In April, federal prosecutors filed charges against a Port Angeles man who claimed to have the cure for COVID. While some COVID cure scams may be vials of sugar water, health officials say you really never know what you could be getting with one of these supposed cures, which poses a serious risk to your health.
"There’s absolutely no way on the planet that I would inject myself or anybody else with a vaccine that I got that's a scenario like 'hey don't tell anybody but we have the only COVID vaccine on the planet, we've developed it nobody else knows about it yet and if you're but if you pay me a couple hundred bucks I could get you in on the study,'" says Dr. Dan Diamond, who is an assistant clinical professor at the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine.
Dr. Diamond says the real deal vaccines are in the works and once it's ready, you'll know. It'll be FDA approved and available at your doctor's office and health clinics. You shouldn't have to hear about it on Facebook in some kind of backdoor deal. "I can't wait for their to be a vaccine I'm so excited for a vaccine, I want it more than anything right now, but we don't have it and if anybody's telling you that we have it, they're not telling you the truth and if they're not telling you the truth on that, they're not gonna tell you the truth about the stuff they're actually injecting you with, so please don't do it."