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Germany: Dozens opt for illegal mystery COVID jab

Alex Berry
November 28, 2021

Scores of people waited in line for an unknown and unauthorized shot described as a COVID-19 vaccine in the city of Lübeck. Around 50 jabs were administered before police could intervene.

A person in a white coat holds a syringe near an exposed arm
It's still unclear what was injected into people at the so-called vaccination centerImage: Sebastian Barros/NurPhoto/imago images

German police had to close down an unauthorized event billing itself as a vaccination center on Saturday after a doctor began administering COVID-19 vaccine shots he had invented himself, German media reported.

The jab, which was developed without any official recognition, was being administered as a vaccination drive at Lübeck airport in the north of Germany.

Police said that some 50 individuals appeared to have received the mystery shot, while over 200 more people were in line when the authorities showed up.

They seized the liquids, syringes and lists recording who had already been vaccinated that day, as well as the personal data of those present.

How can the unvaccinated Germans be convinced?

Unsupported vaccine claims

Winfried Stöcker, a doctor and entrepreneur, came to fame in Germany in March after being interviewed by the magazine Der Spiegel about his homemade vaccine.

Stöcker is also the owner of Lübeck airport, German public broadcaster Norddeutscher Rundfunk reported.

The unlicensed vaccination campaign is considered a criminal offense under the German Medicines Act.

Lübeck airport
Over 200 people were still waiting at Lübeck airport to get their mystery jab before the police turned upImage: Franz Neumayr/picturedesk.com/picture alliance

Stöcker developed his vaccine without any cooperation with regulators. He tested the jab on himself and some 100 volunteers.

He then claimed that his vaccine was 97% effective and could be reproduced in large quantities, but he was met with criminal charges.

Medical experts argued that the entrepreneur-slash-physician had skipped several safety steps and failed to provide information to regulatory bodies.

Germany's odd relationship with vaccines

With just 68.4% of the population fully vaccinated, Germany has one of the lowest vaccination rates in western Europe. It is not, however, suffering from a severe lack of doses of approved vaccines.

The effects of this can be seen in Germany's current fourth wave. States with the lowest vaccination rates, such as Saxony and Thuringia, are now experiencing unprecedented rates of infection.

There was no information about the vaccine status of those who had lined up to get the unapproved jab at Lübeck airport, or why they decided to try an unregulated, unapproved vaccine. 

Are vaccine mandates likely?

DPA contributed to this story.

Edited by: Wesley Rahn