A Milwaukee pharmacist was arrested Thursday and charged with manipulating and causing the destruction of more than 550 doses of Moderna coronavirus vaccine last week, Grafton Police, Wis, confirmed.
In a statement, police officials said the fired pharmacist has now been arrested on charges of recklessly endangering safety, adulteration of a prescription drug and criminal damage to property.
Officials did not release the individual’s identity “pending an official notification of the allegations,” but said that in a written statement to public safety officials Aurora Health, he acknowledged the intentional disposal of the vaccine knowing that if not stored properly, the vaccine it would be inefficient. ”
Moderna vials should be kept between 36 and 46 degrees Fahrenheit. They can remain effective for up to 12 hours if left at room temperature. Beyond that, the drug becomes useless.
As a result, health workers were forced to throw about 570 doses of vaccine at Aurora Medical Center, where the pharmacist worked. However, some were given the medicine that had been left out.
Grafton police detectives reported that 57 patients received these injections.
The pharmacist told investigators he knew “that people who received the vaccinations would think they were vaccinated against the virus when in fact they were not,” officials said.
The value of the altered doses is estimated to be between $ 8,000 and $ 11,000.
The suspect is currently being held in Ozaukee County Jail.