German state prosecutors have launched a criminal investigation against a controversial doctor and entrepreneur after he vaccinated 20,000 people with a home-made COVID vaccine.
Winfried Stoker, a 74-year-old billionaire and owner of Lübeck Airport, where the shots were administered, faces charges of violating Germany’s drug laws, along with the airport’s managing director and two other retired physicians, aged 80 and 81. year, according to a report on the NDR news station.
He may face further charges for running a vaccination campaign without a licence, after police raids on Saturday called off the illegal campaign.
Stoker has become a well-known vagabond among Germany’s larger vaccine-hesitation movement that has been attributed to the country’s comparatively low 67% vaccination rate, despite rising infection rates in recent weeks.
He said he had developed his own vaccine, which he calls ‘Lubeckvax’, in less than half an hour in April 2020. But he said he doesn’t want to spend two years or more trying to get approval from public health regulatory authorities for the vaccine. Activating the body’s immune system is similar to the vaccination used against tetanus with similar inactivated pathogenic cells, he said.
“I was told it would take two years to get approval, but it was too long for me,” he said after Saturday’s raid.
“In order to contribute to global health, we have to act first. We advised doctors to buy the compound for the vaccine – there is a source for it – and then put it together themselves and administer it to patients.”
Stocker says he has developed the vaccine, which he claims is 97 percent effective, by testing it on himself, his family and 50 staff members. He told in an interview to Bild newspaper on Monday that 600 people were waiting for vaccination at the airport when the police raid session ended on Saturday. The newspaper said 107 had received a shot.
“Two physicians were doing vaccinations,” Stocker said. “Doctors have the right to put the material together if they think it can help people. We have a responsibility towards the patients, not the state. But the police stopped everything. 600 people outside waiting for it.” were.’
Stocker, who amassed his wealth from the €1.3 billion sale of his laboratory equipment supplier company Euroimmune in 2019, also said 20,000 had received his unlicensed vaccine and 2,000 of them are under surveillance, but none have been found. No serious side effects have occurred.
He said that only 10 out of 20,000 had suffered the COVID-19 infection.
Stoker has faced criticism from German health experts for failing to license his vaccine with regulators. They did not submit any information regarding approval, study protocol, and preclinical validation before vaccinating themselves and others.
“When vaccine experts around the world are working on vaccines in full swing, you have to be very confident to believe that you, as an individual, can still make a difference,” said Karl Lauterbach, a physician. And the epidemiologist, who may be from Germany, said the next health minister.
“And when vaccination is done without regulatory approval, it is highly problematic. It raises all kinds of legal and ethical questions.”
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /