The Rio de Janeiro Poice has launched an investigation after getting reports of senior citizens being injected with air instead of COVID-19 vaccines.
The police suspected that doses of the vaccine might have been diverted after seeing photos of healthcare workers sticking syringes into elderly people without injecting them.
There were also videos showing the inoculations being administered with the syringes but the plungers were down.
“The nurse put his hand in front and pushed the needle in for a second then quickly removed it. It happened too fast and I immediately noticed that he had not pressed the syringe,” said the daughter of one of the elderly who was inoculated with air.
According to the police, there were three instances of fake inoculations.
If the nurses have been found guilty of actually diverting the vaccines, they could be prosecuted for embezzlement and jailed for up to 12 years along with their conspirators.
Rio’s state nursing council Coren-RJ said the staff involved in the fake inoculation were terminated while the senior citizens have been vaccinated.
The Department of Health (DoH) in Brazil said that it was monitoring vaccine teams to ensure transparency in the application of doses and to prevent such incidents from happening again.
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