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Germans call for crackdown on COVID-19 vaccine queue-jumpers

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People queue in front of the vaccination center against the COVID -19 disease at the 'Arena Treptow' in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Feb. 1, 2021.
People queue in front of the vaccination center against the COVID -19 disease at the 'Arena Treptow' in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Feb. 1, 2021.   -   Copyright  Michael Sohn/Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved
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Anger is growing in Germany after reports that officials at clinics in the country's northwest received their COVID-19 vaccine jabs before doctors, nurses, and frontline workers.

Germany's public broadcaster, NDR, reported on Wednesday that just 400 of 2,500 staff at hospitals in Aurich, Norden, and Emden have been vaccinated, including doctors, nurses, and frontline staff.

Meanwhile, a public trust responsible for the clinics said managers were given jabs that would have passed their expiry if they had not been used.

Days earlier, a senior manager with the Red Cross left his job after it emerged that he had received the surplus vaccine soon after the first jabs arrived in the country last year.

Eugen Brysch, the head of Germany’s Foundation for Patient Protection, told the Associated Press that there should be penalties for skipping the queue and that they were aware of cases where the priority list had been ignored.

“If the health minister is serious about having a fair solution, then there need to be consequences for those who depart from it,” Brysch said.

Brysch added that it would be best if vaccines were reserved for the very oldest and sickest in society until they have all received their shots.