GRAFTON, Wis. (CBS Chicago/CBS News) — The Wisconsin hospital worker accused of intentionally removing 57 vials of a COVID-19 vaccine from a pharmacy refrigerator has been arrested, local police announced Thursday.
The worker had already been fired by Aurora Medical Center-Grafton, which said it was forced to throw out more than 500 doses of the vaccine as a result of the incident.
Police in Grafton, Wisconsin outside Milwaukee said the worker has been arrested on three recommended charges: First Degree Recklessly Endangering Safety, Adulterating a Prescription Drug and Criminal Damage to Property, all of which are felonies.
Police did not name the individual, but did identify him as a man who had worked as a pharmacist and a resident of Grafton. The suspect is being held at the Ozaukee County jail.
On Wednesday, Aurora Medical Center-Grafton said the 57 vials of Moderna vaccine were taken out of a pharmacy refrigerator and left overnight.
The hospital launched an investigation and was led to believe inadvertent human error was to blame. But on Wednesday, the worker who was responsible admitted to doing it on purpose, Advocate Aurora Health said.
Moderna said the doses that were left unrefrigerated are ineffective now, but not harmful. No one got shots from the ruined vials.
The FBI is also investigating.
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