Authorities in northern Germany have appealed to thousands of people to get another shot of a COVID-19 vaccine after a investigation found that a Red Cross nurse may have injected them with a saline solution.
Up to 8,6000 residents, including the elderly and those classified at high risk, could have been injected with a salt solution instead of a genuine dose of a vaccine to proret them against the coronavirus, The Guardian reported on Thursday.
The nurse is suspected of injecting the saline solution into people’s arms instead at a vaccination center in Friesland – a rural district near the North Sea coast – in the early spring.
“I am totally shocked by this episode,” Sven Ambrosy, a local councilor, said on Facebook as local authorities issued the call on Tuesday to about the thousands of of residents who may have been affected.
While saline solution is harmless, most people who got vaccinated in Germany in March and April when the suspected switch took place are elderly and at high risk of catching COVID-19.
Police investigator Peter Beer, speaking earlier at a news conference covered by German media, said that based on witness statements there was “a reasonable suspicion of danger.”
The nurse has not been named but a police investigation is underway. The health worker’s motives are unclear, but she is shared skeptical views about vaccines in social media posts, police investigators said.