FILE PHOTO © Dado Ruvic / Reuters. An employeed deliberately removed 500 doses of vaccine from refridgeration in a hospital pharmacy, but the reason for the employee's actions is not yet known.
An employee deliberately removed vials of Moderna Covid-19 vaccine from a Wisconsin hospital refrigerator, destroying around 500 doses, an internal probe has found. The FBI and police are now investigating the incident.

 

“The individual in question today acknowledged that they intentionally removed the vaccine from refrigeration,” Advocate Aurora Health said in a statement.

We are more than disappointed that this individual’s actions will result in a delay of more than 500 people receiving their vaccine.

The organization, which runs 26 hospitals, said the employee in question had been fired and authorities had been notified about the incident.

It was earlier revealed that 57 vials of the Moderna vaccine had been taken out of a pharmacy refrigerator at Aurora Medical Center in Grafton, Wisconsin overnight, after which more than 500 doses of the vaccine had been “discarded.” The center’s officials said at the time that the vaccine had been removed from the freezers “inadvertently.”

The Moderna vaccines arrive frozen at between -25°C and -15°C (-13°F and 5°F) and must be stored in refrigerators between 2°C and 8°C (36°F and 46°F), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Police confirmed to the media that they have launched an investigation regarding an employee “tampering” with the vials, and that the FBI and Food and Drug Administration were working on the case as well.

“Earlier this week, we learned that 57 vials of Moderna vaccine were removed from a pharmacy refrigerator at Aurora Medical Center – Grafton overnight, resulting in more than 500 doses of vaccine being discarded,” Advocate Aurora Health, the parent of the Grafton, Wis, hospital said.

“We immediately launched an internal review and were led to believe this was caused by inadvertent human error. The individual in question today acknowledged that they intentionally removed the vaccine from refrigeration.”