Authorities said Tuesday that pharmacists at a Wisconsin hospital were fired and arrested on charges of intentionally trying to destroy the Kovid-19 vaccine dose.
Steven Brandenburg was evicted from Aurora Medical Center in Grafton, Wisconsin, in December, after the hospital said he admitted “knowingly removed the vaccine from refrigeration.” Brandenburg, a pharmacist, agreed to plead guilty in two counts of attempting to tamper with consumer products with reckless disregard, the Justice Department said.
The charge carries with him a maximum prison sentence of 10 years for each count.
“As per the plea agreement, Brandenburg stated that he was skeptical about the modern vaccine in general and in particular,” the department said on Tuesday. “Brandenburg communicated his beliefs about the vaccine to his colleagues for at least the last two years.”
Prosecutors said Brandenburg intentionally removed modern vaccine supplements from their refrigeration during two overnight innings last month, possibly rendering them ineffective because vaccine vials must be stored at specific temperatures.
Brandenburg then returned the vaccines to the refrigerator, after learning that they had been released, with 57 people injected due to a possible malfunction, the Justice Department said.
Grafton police said Brandenburg is an “accepted conspiracy theorist” and “told investigators that they believed the Kovid-19 vaccine was not safe for people and could harm them and alter their DNA” is.”
The Wisconsin Pharmacy Examination Board suspended Brandenburg’s license earlier this month that would not allow him to practice in a pharmacy in the state.
US Attorney Matthew D. Kueger said on Tuesday that anyone who tampers with a dose of Kovid-19 will get justice.
“To overcome this epidemic, it is important to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine, which continues to end lives and sustain our economy,” said Kruser.
Modern and Pfizer’s Kovid-19 vaccines, currently approved for emergency use in the US, are not yet widely available. States have struggled to meet demand in the form of a supply chain for inaction, competing against each other for scarce resources and the rest of the world.
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 23.5 million doses have been given nationwide as of Tuesday. Since the first shipment was released on 14 December, only 3.4 million people have been fully vaccinated with both doses.
President Joe Biden announced on Tuesday that he planned to purchase an additional 200 million doses in an effort to deliver.