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US pharmacist destroys over 500 doses of Moderna's COVID vaccine

A US-based pharmacist destroyed dozens of vials of Moderna coronavirus vaccine as he thought it was capable of altering the human DNA

twitter-logoBusinessToday.In | January 6, 2021 | Updated 16:45 IST
US pharmacist destroys over 500 doses of Moderna's COVID vaccine
The pharmacist has admitted to the police that he purposefully removed the vials from a refrigeration unit as he believed it was unsafe for humans

A US-based pharmacist destroyed dozens of vials of Moderna coronavirus vaccine as he thought it was capable of altering the human DNA. The pharmacist identified as Steven Brandenburg used to work at Aurora Medical Centre in Grafton where he destroyed 550 doses of Moderna vaccine twice in December.

Brandenburg was arrested on charges of first-degree recklessly endangering safety, adulterating a prescription drug, and criminal damage to property. Aurora Medical Centre has fired the pharmacist after the arrest.

The pharmacist has admitted to the police that he purposefully removed the vials from a refrigeration unit as he believed it was unsafe for humans.

The Moderna vials must be stored between 36 to 46 degrees Fahrenheit. They can remain effective for up to 12 hours if left at room temperature. Beyond that, the drug is rendered useless.

Grafton police said in a statement that Brandenburg deliberately removed the vials from refrigeration on two separate occasions--on December 24 overnight, then returning them to proper storage, and then again on December 25.

Thereafter, a pharmacy technician discovered them outside the refrigerator on Christmas morning and notified his superiors.

As a result, healthcare workers were forced to throw out about 570 doses of vaccine. However, some people were given the medicine that had been left out. The police reported 57 patients received those injections.

The pharmacist knew "the spoiled vaccinations would be useless and that people who received the vaccinations would think they had been vaccinated against the virus when in fact they were not".

The value of the spoiled doses is estimated to be between $8,000 and $11,000. Brandenburg is currently being held in the Ozaukee County jail.

Also read: Bird flu outbreak: Is it safe to eat eggs, chicken?

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