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U.S. says website offered phony coronavirus vaccines

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Justice Department on Sunday said it cracked down on a website that was fraudulently offering to sell vaccines for warding off the deadly coronavirus.

The department said the case marked its first action to fight fraud related to the coronavirus outbreak, which has killed more than 400 Americans and disrupted the lives of millions across the country.

The coronavirus causes the respiratory illness COVID-19.

The website claimed to offer access to World Health Organization vaccine kits for a shipping charge of $4.95.

“In fact, there are currently no legitimate COVID-19 vaccines and the WHO is not distributing any such vaccine,” the Justice Department said in a statement.

At the department’s request, U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman issued a temporary restraining order requiring that public access to the website be blocked, the department said.

Reporting by Jason Lange; Editing by Daniel Wallis

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