Consumer Update: Beware of Fraudulent Coronavirus Tests, Vaccines, and Treatments

(UNDATED) – While many Americans are sheltering at home to help “flatten the curve” and slow the spread of coronavirus disease (also called COVID-19), they might be tempted to buy or use questionable products that claim to help diagnose, treat, cure, and even prevent COVID-19.

Because COVID-19 has never been seen in humans before, there are currently no vaccines to prevent or drugs to treat COVID-19 approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA is working with vaccine and drug manufacturers to develop new vaccines for and find drugs to treat COVID-19 as quickly as possible. Meanwhile, some people and companies are trying to profit from this pandemic by selling unproven and illegally marketed products that make false claims, such as being effective against the coronavirus.

These fraudulent products that claim to cure, treat, or prevent COVID-19 haven’t been evaluated by the FDA for safety and effectiveness and might be dangerous to you and your family.

The FDA is particularly concerned that these deceptive and misleading products might cause Americans to delay or stop appropriate medical treatment, leading to serious and life-threatening harm. It’s likely that the products do not do what they claim, and the ingredients in them could cause adverse effects and could interact with, and potentially interfere with, essential medications.

The FDA has also seen unauthorized fraudulent test kits for COVID-19 being sold online. Currently, the only way to be tested for COVID-19 is to talk to your health care provider. The FDA has not authorized any test that is available to purchase for testing yourself at home for COVID-19. You will risk unknowingly spreading COVID-19 or not getting treated appropriately if you use an unauthorized test. The FDA knows that having a home test for COVID-19 would be very helpful and is actively working with test developers on this. But currently, the FDA has not authorized any home test for COVID-19.

To learn more click here.

This Consumer Update is available in 5 languages; EnglishSimplified ChineseKoreanSpanishTagalog, and Vietnamese.

You can find more coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) updates on FDA’s website.

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