A Red Cross nurse is suspected to have injected a saline solution into people’s arms instead of the COVID-19 vaccine in northern Germany.
Investigations by the police have found that the nurse may have injected the salt solution into people’s arms at a genuine vaccination center in Friesland – a rural district near the coast of the North Sea – in early Spring.
Authorities are urging around 9,000 people to get another shot of the vaccine as the news emerges.
Even though the saline solution is considered harmless by German health officials, authorities are worried as most people who got vaccinated in Germany when the suspected event took place are elderly people at high risk from the potentially fatal disease.
Speaking at a news conference, police investigator Peter Beer said that witness statements have provided “a reasonable suspicion of danger”.
The health worker was not named by investigators, but they have reported that she aired skeptical views about vaccines on social media. The police have still not commented on the nurse’s motives.
It has not been made clear whether the suspect has been arrested or charged in this case. Public radio broadcaster NDR has reported that the investigation has been handed over to a special unit that looks into politically motivated crimes.
Taking to Facebook, local councilor Sven Ambrosy said, “I am totally shocked by this episode”. local authorities issued the call on Tuesday to about 8,600 residents who may have been affected.