U.S. police and federal authorities are investigating after a Wisconsin health center said an employee admitted to deliberately breaking down 500 doses of coronavirus vaccine.
Aurora Medical Center in Grafton reported for the first time that Moderna vaccine doses were altered on Saturday, saying a staff member accidentally left them out of the refrigerator overnight.
On Wednesday, however, he said the doses appeared to have been deliberately broken.
Grafton police, about 30 miles north of Milwaukee, said the department, the FBI and the Food and Drug Administration are investigating the case.
Police said Wednesday night they had been notified of the alleged manipulation, but that no further information would be released immediately. They declined to say whether any arrests had been made.
In a statement late Wednesday, Aurora said the employee involved “admitted to intentionally removing the vaccine from the refrigerator.” Aurora said she fired the person and sent the matter to the authorities. The statement did not say anything about a possible reason for the action.
“We continue to believe that vaccination is our way out of the pandemic. We are more than disappointed that the actions of this individual will lead to a delay of over 500 people receiving the vaccine “, it is mentioned in the communiqué.
Manipulation will delay the inoculation of hundreds of people, Aurora Health officials said, in a state of 3,170 new cases and 40 people died Wednesday from Covid-19, according to the Washington Post coronavirus surveillance tool .
Leonard Peace, an FBI spokesman in Milwaukee, did not comment on the office’s involvement, but said of the episode, “We are aware of that.”
Launching an internal review Monday, hospital officials said they were initially “determined to believe” that the incident was caused by “involuntary human error.”
The bottles were removed on Friday and most were discarded on Saturday, with only a few still safe to administer, according to a previous statement from the health system. Each vial has enough for 10 vaccinations, but can stay at room temperature for only 12 hours.
Two days later, the employee admitted that he “intentionally removed the vaccine from the refrigerator,” according to the hospital’s statement, the Washington Post reported.