German Politicians, public workers and clergy members have been vaccinated while people in the priority groups have been desperately waiting for their turn.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been hailed for refusing early vaccination but recent scandal in Germany exposed that politicians and other people with influence have already received their shots while millions of elderly and regular people have been waiting for their turn. Mounting public reaction forced the German Health minister Jens Spahn to make a statement on Friday. Spahn said those who violated the vaccination queue could face fines.
As of Friday, a total of 3.7 million people in Germany had received both a first and second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, according to German media. The order of vaccination has clearly been regulated in Germany’s Ministry of Health ordinance: People over 80 in Germany were supposed to be vaccinated first, as well as men and women who have a particularly high risk of infection due to their work in hospitals, doctors’ offices, care facilities or vaccination centers. However, recent scandal revealed that power and influence could move you all the way to the top of the vaccination list.
Politicians, police and clergy members who are normally in the third group and supposed to get their turns in June have been vaccinated in at least 9 German states. Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) said that he wants to look into fines against people who illegally jump the queue for vaccinations. The privileged Germans have tried to justify why they are more important than the rest of the public, according to German media. Hartmut Handschak, the district administrator of Saalekreis, received a vaccine way back in December. The 59-year-old claimed that a dose was left over for which there were neither employees were willing to be vaccinated nor “suitable patients”.
In North Rhine-Westphalia, there have also been several cases of privileged politicians who have been vaccinated significantly earlier than planned. Among others, the 31-year-old mayor of Hennef, Mario Dahm, of the Social Democrats (SPD), also claimed being vaccinated with a leftover dose.
Also in German state of Bavaria several local politicians were vaccinated early. Donau-Ries district administrator and the Donauwörth mayor received a jab from leftover doses in January. Both politicians said they would have decided differently today, however. The Bishop of Augsburg, Bertram Meier, and his Vicar General, Harald Heinrich, have also received vaccinations. Several other influential public servants and politicians in other states have managed to receive the vaccination.