Germany’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign has been overshadowed by a mishap in the north where eight workers in an elderly care home received an overdose.
Vorpommern-Ruegen district authorities said the workers in Stralsund city received five times the recommended dose of the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine on Sunday.
Four went to hospital for observation after developing flu-like symptoms.
‘I deeply regret the incident. This individual case is due to individual errors. I hope that all those affected do not experience any serious side-effects,’ district chief Stefan Kerth said in a statement.
The incident came after some German districts declined to use vaccines received over the weekend on suspicion that cold conditions were interrupted during delivery.
Vorpommern-Ruegen authorities pointed to previous statements by BioNtech saying larger doses were tested in the Phase 1 study without serious consequences.
There was no immediate comment from the pharmaceutical companies.
Last week, a German town began storing its dead in a mobile freezer after space in hospital morgues ran out amid a surge in coronavirus fatalities.
Cemetery workers in Hanau, 10 miles outside of Frankfurt, began using the mobile freezer last Thursday.
Germany, initially praised for its virus response during the first wave, has been hard-hit during a second wave after it shunned going into a full-scale lockdown of the kind seen in other European countries during the autumn.
Chancellor Angela Merkel has now been forced to change tack, bringing in a ‘hard lockdown’ that saw shops and schools closed until January with social gatherings limited over the Christmas holidays.
Alcohol is banned in public places – putting a halt to traditional mulled wine stands at Christmas markets – while hairdressers and salons are also shutting down.
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