Pharmacist jailed for three years for tampering with Covid-19 vaccines
A Wisconsin pharmacist who pleaded guilty to trying to spoil hundreds of doses of Moderna's Covid-19 vaccine because he was sceptical about them has been jailed for three years, the US justice department said on Tuesday.
Steven Brandenburg, 46, was also ordered to pay about $83,800 (R1.14m) in compensation to the hospital at which he worked, according to a statement on Tuesday from the US attorney's office of the Eastern District of Wisconsin.
Brandenburg had agreed to plead guilty to two counts of attempting to tamper with consumer products, with reckless disregard for the risk that another person would be placed in danger of death or bodily injury.
Court documents showed that he purposefully removed a box of Covid-19 vaccine vials from a hospital refrigeration unit during two successive overnight shifts in December last year, the justice department said in its statement.
Brandenburg was sceptical of vaccines in general and the Moderna vaccine specifically, and communicated his beliefs to his co-workers, it said.
Moderna's vaccine has to be stored and shipped frozen but does not require ultra-cold temperatures and can be stored for 30 days in standard-temperature refrigerators.