Winfried Stoecker, 74, started distributing his own vaccine but now the doctor appears to have had a change of heart, stating that he is giving up after a police raid
A German billionaire who developed his own, self-made vaccine against the coronavirus says he is giving up trying to administer it after a police raid.
Winfried Stoecker, 74, said instead that members of the public who have not yet been vaccinated should get one of the government-approved jabs.
The development comes after police launched an investigation into Stoecker following allegations that he had given over 100 people a jab of his own making at Lubeck airport, in the city of Luebeck, which is located in the state of Schleswig-Holstein in northern Germany, on Saturday (27 November).
Mr Stoecker is a scientist and entrepreneur who used to teach at a university in Wuhan Province in China, and who created a company called Euroimmun, which he sold in 2019 to an American corporation for $1.3 billion (£973 million).
He then started distributing his own vaccine but the 74-year-old doctor appears to have had a change of heart and now states that he wishes to cease his activities.
He reportedly said on his website: “The current risk posed by the pandemic is certainly greater than the risks associated with administering the approved vaccinations.”
He added that there was no longer any time “to wait for an ideal vaccination like LubecaVax, which I believe offers a better risk-benefit ratio, or to complain about incompetent authorities”.
Mr Stoecker added: “Please get yourself vaccinated with the state-recommended preparations if you do not have any immune protection.”
He also said: “I do not want to induce anyone to postpone the vaccination that is currently required and for these reasons I will cease my activities in this direction until the end of this emergency in Germany.”
In view of the catastrophic developments linked to the coronavirus pandemic in Europe and the emergence of the Omicron variant, he believes that the introduction of mandatory vaccinations is the right decision.
Mr Stoecker had developed what he said was a vaccine against coronavirus and he claimed he had already given the jab to around 20,000 people. However, his vaccine has not been approved, nor has he sought approval, making it illegal.
He is under investigation along with three other people over the vaccination event staged at the airport.
Mr Stoecker told German daily Bild: “Two doctors vaccinated people. Doctors have the right to mix together what they think will help people. We are accountable to the patient, but not to the state. But then the police stopped everything. Around 600 people were waiting in line.”
He also claimed: “So far, around 20,000 people have been vaccinated with the substance in Germany. 2,000 of them are under constant observation. Side effects were not noted.”
The doctor did not want to wait for approval from the state to use his vaccine. He said: “That would take too long, it would cost millions.”
The public prosecutor sees it differently and has been investigating Mr Stoecker for over a year on suspicion of criminal patient experiments. And now the doctor may be in more trouble because of the event at the airport.
According to the Luebeck public prosecutor’s office, the investigation is looking into four men aged 61, 74, 80 and 81 who are residents in the Segeberg district and the Duchy of Lauenburg. They have not been named.
Mr Stoecker was born in Upper Lusatia in 1947. He studied medicine in Wuerzburg and became a professor at Tongji University in Wuhan in 1999, the city in China where the coronavirus was first detected at the end of 2019. He founded Euroimmun in 1987.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.