A Wisconsin hospital employee has been fired and arrested after removing dozens of vials of the coronavirus vaccine from a pharmacy refrigerator, intentionally destroying more than 500 doses, a hospital investigation found.
The incident happened over the weekend at the Aurora Medical Center in Grafton, north of Milwaukee. Grafton police announced the arrest of the pharmacist Thursday, but did not name the man or identify a motive.
Police said in a statement they arrested the former employee on suspicion of recklessly endangering safety, adulterating a prescription drug and criminal damage to property. The damage he caused “was estimated to be between $8,000 and $11,000,” police said.
Initially, it appeared that the 57 vials of the Moderna vaccine — which must be kept between 36 and 46 degrees Fahrenheit — had been left out overnight accidentally, hospital officials said. Each vial holds approximately 10 doses of the vaccine.
But Wednesday, the Aurora Medical Center announced the hospital worker involved “acknowledged that they intentionally removed the vaccine from refrigeration.”