As individuals around the world line up to receive a COVID-19 vaccination, reports out of Germany have left many people shocked and outraged.
According to Reuters, thousands of people in that country are believed to have received an injection of a saline solution instead of the inoculation they believed they would be getting.
Some of the details about the incident are still unknown, but the available information is concerning.
Reports indicate the injections took place in Friesland, a rural district near the North Sea coast in northern Germany, in March and April.
One woman, a Red Cross nurse, is believed to be at the center of the situation. The individual is believed to have injected the saline solution into the arms of as many as 8,600 patients.
Authorities have indicated that the nurse is a woman but have not released her name as of the latest updates available.
Furthermore, it is not known what her motive might have been for injecting the benign solution instead of the vaccine doses expected by the recipients. Investigators have indicated, however, that the woman has shared posts on social media that suggest she is skeptical about the available vaccines.
As of this writing, it is unclear whether the nurse has been arrested and charged with a crime as well as whether her alleged actions have caused any harm to those who received the injections.
Although the saline solution itself is generally harmless, the recipients were believed to be primarily elderly individuals who are most at risk of hospitalization or death due to the virus.
While such actions could have provided elderly individuals with a false sense of security, initial reports did not indicate whether any of those allegedly injected with the saline solution subsequently died of COVID-19.
The case is said to have been handed over to an investigative unit specifically tasked with addressing politically motivated crimes. Officials are asking those who were treated by the nurse to receive a legitimate vaccination.
In a statement on the matter, District Administrator Sven Ambrosy explained: “I’m totally shocked by the incident. The district of Friesland will do everything possible to ensure that the affected people receive their vaccination protection as soon as possible.”