Aug. 12 (UPI) — Officials in Germany are investigating a nurse for allegedly replacing COVID-19 vaccines with saline solution.
The District of Friedland announced on Facebook that it could not be ruled out that people who received shots at a vaccination center in Roffhausen between March 5 and April 20 had received the solution instead of the vaccine.
“Today I had the sad duty to inform around 8,600 potentially affected people that it is not possible to rule out that there are also people among you could have received a saline solution instead of their vaccination at their vaccination appointment,” Friesland District Administrator Sven Ambrosy wrote on Facebook on Tuesday. “For peace of mind we would recommend people get an additional vaccination.”
Saline solution is not considered harmful to humans but local authorities called on people who received a vaccine dose at the location during the affected period to contact the government and schedule another dose.
“In this situation, it is important that all those who may be affected are offered catch-up vaccinations,” Matthias Pulz, president of the Lower Saxony State Health Office, said in a statement. “This is the only way to ensure complete vaccination protection. Even if persons have already been correctly vaccinated twice.”
Police investigating the incident found the nurse was “motivated to oppose the vaccination” and was able to replace the vials because she was responsible for preparing vaccines and syringes at the vaccination center.
“Since she remains silent with police, we do not know whether and to what extent she was manipulated during this period,” said Claudia Schroder, deputy head of the Lower Saxony COVID-19 team. “We do not know how many people were specifically affected and we are talking her about a period of seven weeks, so it is also a large number of people who come into consideration.”