German city mayor under investigation for early COVID-19 vaccination
Police searched the workplace of the mayor of Halle in central Germany on Monday as part of an investigation into why he got the coronavirus vaccine sooner than he should have, authorities said.
Mayor Bernd Wiegand, who is not a member of a political party, is accused of securing a vaccination for himself “in disregard of the vaccination sequence” as laid out by the federal government, the local public prosecutor said.
The investigation is based on suspected “embezzlement” of the vaccine, according to the prosecutor’s statement.
Wiegand is alleged to have had himself vaccinated as well as others who had not yet waited their turn.
COVID-19 vaccines are still very limited in Germany, which is prioritizing risk groups such as the elderly and health care workers in the first stages of its roll-out.
The government in Berlin has pledged to offer every adult a vaccine by September 21.