Beware of COVID-19 scams as vaccine approaches FDA approval. Some tips to stay safe.

The coronavirus vaccine inching toward approval in the U.S. is desperately anticipated by weary Americans longing for a path back to normal life. But criminals are waiting, too, ready to use that desperation to their advantage, federal investigators say.

Homeland Security investigators are working with Pfizer, Moderna and dozens of other drug companies racing to complete and distribute the vaccine and treatments for the virus. The goal: to prepare for the scams that are coming, especially after the mess of criminal activity this year with phony personal protective equipment, false cures and extortion schemes.

A few things to keep in mind to avoid falling victim:

— Always consult a licensed medical professional to obtain a COVID-19 vaccine or treatment.

— Make sure your doctor has been approved to administer the vaccine.

— Do not buy COVID-19 vaccines or treatments over the internet.

— Do not buy COVID-19 vaccines or treatments through an online pharmacy.

— Ignore large, unsolicited offers for vaccinations and miracle treatments or cures.

— Don’t respond to text messages, emails or calls about vaccines and treatments.

— Be wary of ads for vaccines and treatments on social media.

— Any suspicious activity can be reported to: covid19investigations@dhs.gov.

Here’s an update on all developments. Scroll or swipe further for in-depth coverage.

  • Moderna Inc. said it would ask U.S. and European regulators Monday to allow emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine as new study results confirm the shots offer strong protection — ramping up the race to begin limited vaccinations as the coronavirus rampage worsens.
  • Health experts are asking those who gathered with people outside their households for Thanksgiving to get tested. “If your family traveled, you have to assume that you were exposed and you became infected,” White House coronavirus task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx told CBS on Sunday.
  • After months of shadowboxing amid a tense and toxic campaign, Capitol Hill’s main players are returning for one final, perhaps futile, attempt at deal-making on a challenging menu of year-end business.
  • New York City will reopen its school system to in-person learning, and increase the number of days a week many children attend class, even as the coronavirus pandemic intensifies in the city, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Sunday.
  • The European Union’s latest surge of coronavirus infections is flattening or going down in some but not all countries across the continent but it’s too early to relax current virus restrictions, the head of the continent’s disease control center said Monday.
  • Hong Kong on Monday imposed sweeping curbs to stop a fresh spike in coronavirus infections, closing government offices and swimming pools and limiting public gatherings to two people.
  • A Pennsylvania state senator abruptly left a West Wing meeting with President Donald Trump after being informed he had tested positive for the coronavirus, a person with direct knowledge of the meeting told The Associated Press.
  • San Francisco coach Kyle Shanahan said the team was blindsided by new coronavirus regulations put in place by Santa Clara County officials that will force the 49ers to find a temporary new home for practice and games.

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