Friesland: Nurse accused of swapping COVID vaccines for saline solution
Thousands of people in northern Germany have been urged to get another COVID vaccine shot after a police investigation found that a nurse may have been injecting saline solution into people’s arms instead of genuine vaccine doses.
10.000 people could have been injected with saline solution
As many as one in 10 people living in the rural district of Friesland in Lower Saxony may have received an injection of salt solution instead of a vaccine against coronavirus, police said last week. While saline solution is harmless, the affected people, who all received their vaccine dose during the spring as part of a vulnerable priority group, are now at risk of contracting the virus.
Local authorities have issued the call to more than 10.000 people in the areas who are thought to have been affected. “I am totally shocked by this episode,” said Sven Ambrosy, a local councillor, on Facebook, describing the case as “monstrous”.
Friesland nurse denies political motive
A Red Cross nurse working at the district’s vaccination centre has admitted to filling six vaccine vials with saline solution mixed with some leftover vaccine, according to police. She apparently did so to cover up the fact that she accidentally dropped and wasted a vial of vaccine.
However, authorities are not yet ruling out a potential political motive. According to SPIEGEL, the woman expressed sceptical views about vaccines and the severity of COVID infections in a number of social media posts, but this is being denied as a motive by the nurse’s lawyer.