Pharmacists tamper with COVID-19 vaccine for two consecutive nights

A Wisconsin hospital employee accused him of spoiling hundreds of doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, not tampering with the vials just once – he left them undefeated twice, his boss claims.

The Daily Mail reported that Steven Brandenburg, 46, is being jailed in three criminal cases – reckless endangerment, a prescription drug and criminal damage to property – although police have not officially identified him.

Ozaukee County Jail Records show Brandenburg was booked on New Year’s Eve, the same day police arrested the perpetrator, and state records show he is a licensed pharmacist.

Police and federal authorities – both the FBI and the Food and Drug Administration – are investigating the molestation at Advocate Aurora Health Hospital in Grafton, about 20 miles from Milwaukee.

The wrongdoer did not leave the 57 vials at room temperature in one night, as previously suspected, but two – on 24 and 25 December, Dr. Jeff Bahar told reporters at a zoom briefing on Thursday.

Bahur told reporters that the culprit put the vials back on ice after night, then came to take the same trick back.

A pharmacy technician found the vials on a counter on the morning of 26 December and placed them back in the refrigerator. Later that day, 57 people were vaccinated at Aurora Medical Center Grafton because the hospital did not know the vials had been left for two nights. According to Maker Modern, the vaccine can be stored at room temperature for up to 12 hours.

Those vaccinated have been informed, Bahr said; Hospital personnel threw out the rest of the vials.

“There is no evidence that the vaccines caused them any harm other than being potentially less effective or ineffective,” he said.

Advocate Aurora Health Hospital in Grafton, Wisconsin.
Advocate Aurora Health Hospital in Grafton, Wisconsin.
Mark Hoffman / Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel via AP

The employee engaged in the process of taking out the vials told hospital officials that the move was an “inadvertent error” that was made in the process of getting another drug out of the refrigerator, Bahr said.

But hospital officials became “increasingly suspicious” of the employee after an internal review. He interviewed the worker several times before he admitted to tampering with the vials.

The employee did not explain his actions and the police have no motive yet for the crimes.

Bahr assured the public that there was no evidence that the vaccine was tampered with in any other way.

“It was a situation that involved a bad actor as opposed to a bad process,” he said.


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