Thousands of people in northern Germany have been asked to get another COVID-19 jab by authorities after it was found that a Red Cross nurse was allegedly giving out shots of a saline solution in place of their designated vaccine.

Per Reuters, the nurse was administering COVID vax doses at a vaccination centre in the rural district of Friesland in the early months of Germany’s spring season. It’s suspected she was switching out vaccine doses with the harmless (but incredibly useless) salt solution throughout March and April.

Police allege that the nurse had no real clear motives for making the switch, but they are aware that she had previously posted scepticism about COVID-19 vaccines on social media.

Around 8600 residents in the area near the North Sea coast are being contacted by local authorities as they may have been affected by the saline jab switch. Sven Ambrosy, the district’s administrator, posted a statement on social media on Tuesday, urging anyone who had been vaccinated between March 5 and April 20 to come forward for a third jab.

“The most important thing for us is to inform these people, answer their questions and offer further vaccination,” a translation of the statement read.

“I therefore ask all citizens to contact us if they have received a vaccination during the said period.”

At the time the suspected switch occurred, Germany was rolling out its vaccinations to elderly people, who are in the high-risk age bracket for contracting COVID-19.

It’s not yet known whether the suspected nurse had been arrested or charged, but the case has reportedly been given to German authorities who focus on investigations around politically-motivated crimes.

All adult Aussies (yep, even if those of us under 40) are currently able to get the safe and effective AstraZeneca vaccine through a GP. Click here to see which clinics are offering it, and talk to a doctor to see if it’s right for you.

Alternatively, you can triple-check to see if you’re eligible for the Pfizer vaccine here.

The best vaccine is the first one you can get, and that’ll be our ticket out of this mess.

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