Wisconsin pharmacist will plead guilty to tampering with vaccine




  • In US
  • 2021-01-26 22:57:00Z
  • By CBS News
 

A former Wisconsin pharmacist has agreed to plead guilty to intentionally tampering with hundreds of doses of Moderna Inc.'s COVID-19 vaccine, the Department of Justice announced Tuesday. Steven Brandenburg was fired after he allegedly removed 57 vials of the vaccine from a hospital refrigerator, causing more than 50 people to be vaccinated with improperly stored doses. 

Brandenburg, 46, is charged with two counts of attempting to tamper with consumer products, with reckless disregard for the risk that another person will be placed in danger of death or bodily injury, the DOJ said. Each charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. He has not formally pleaded guilty to the charges, but the agreement signals an intent to do so.

In a statement announcing Brandenburg's plea agreement, the DOJ said he "purposefully removed a box of COVID-19 vaccine" from Aurora Medical Center's refrigerator during two successive overnight shifts in late December, "intending to render the vaccine inert and no longer effective." In the agreement, Brandenburg admitted to believing in "conspiracy theories" and said he was "skeptical of vaccines in general and the Moderna vaccine specifically," the DOJ said. 

Brandenburg told investigators he believed the vaccine could harm people and change their DNA, according to a probable cause statement obtained by CBS affiliate WDJT-TV in early January. Experts have said there is no evidence that the vaccine can alter DNA. 

Brandenburg returned the vaccines to the refrigerator after leaving them out for "several" hours each night, the DOJ said, and 57 people were vaccinated with the doses before the issue was discovered. Officials have said the doses do not pose any medical risk. 

Brandenburg was fired by Aurora Medical Center and has since had his license suspended, according to WDJT-TV

"Distributing the COVID-19 vaccine is critical to overcoming this pandemic, which continues to end lives and upend our economy," said Matthew Krueger, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. "As these charges show, the Justice Department will pursue anyone-and especially any medical professional-who tampers with the vaccine."

Tornado strikes Alabama, killing 1, as severe storms sweep across U.S.

Acting Capitol Police chief apologizes for security failures

States report coronavirus vaccine shortages as Americans wait for shot

COMMENTS

More Related News

Hong Kong expands vaccine programme to teachers, taxi drivers
Hong Kong expands vaccine programme to teachers, taxi drivers
  • US
  • 2021-03-08 08:41:51Z

Hong Kong's top officials said on Monday that the city's vaccine programme would be expanded to include more priority groups including teachers and delivery ...

French
French 'HAS' regulator: J&J COVID vaccine could be approved in France by end of this week
  • US
  • 2021-03-08 07:54:19Z

The president of France's Haute Autorite de Sante (HAS) health regulator said on Monday that France could approve Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine by the...

The Latest: UK students back to school after 2 months out
The Latest: UK students back to school after 2 months out
  • US
  • 2021-03-08 07:26:20Z

British children returned to school on Monday after a two-month closure, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson saying he aimed to get the country " moving closer...

Indonesia gets 1.1 million AstraZeneca vaccine doses via COVAX
Indonesia gets 1.1 million AstraZeneca vaccine doses via COVAX
  • US
  • 2021-03-08 07:17:21Z

Indonesia has received about 1.1 million ready-to-use doses of vaccine produced by AstraZeneca under the global vaccine-sharing COVAX facility, its foreign...

Vietnam vaccinates COVID-19 front-liners with its 1st doses
Vietnam vaccinates COVID-19 front-liners with its 1st doses
  • US
  • 2021-03-08 06:54:06Z

Vietnam administered its first COVID-19 doses Monday to the front-line workers who made the nation's relative success in controlling the pandemic possible - ...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: US