U.S. pharmacist jailed for three years for tampering with COVID-19 vaccines

A health care worker prepares the Moderna vaccine against coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at a vaccination center in El Paso, Texas, the United States, May 6, 2021. REUTERS / Jose Luis Gonzalez

A Wisconsin pharmacist who pleaded guilty to spoiling hundreds of doses of Moderna’s (MRNA.O) The COVID-19 vaccine has been jailed for three years because of its skepticism towards them, the US Department of Justice said on Tuesday.

Steven R. Brandenburg, 46, was also ordered to pay $ 83,800 in compensation to the hospital where he worked statement on Tuesday by the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Wisconsin.

Brandenburg had agreed plead guilty up to two cases of attempted manipulation of consumer products in negligent disregard of the risk that another person would endanger life or personal injury.

Court documents showed that he deliberately removed a box of COVID-19 vaccine vials from a hospital refrigerator for two consecutive night shifts last December, the Justice Department said in its statement.

Brandenburg is skeptical of vaccines in general and the Moderna vaccine in particular and has communicated its convictions to its employees for at least the last two years, it said.

Moderna’s vaccine must be stored and shipped frozen, but does not require ultra-cold temperatures and can be stored in standard temperature refrigerators for 30 days.

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