500 vaccine doses ‘intentionally’ removed from refrigeration at Wisconsin clinic

Coronavirus

In this July 27, 2020, file photo, nurse Kathe Olmstead prepares a shot that is part of a possible COVID-19 vaccine, developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., in Binghamton, N.Y. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink, File)

GRAFTON, Wis. (NewsNation Now/AP) — A Wisconsin health system said Wednesday that 500 doses of coronavirus vaccine that had to be discarded after they were left unrefrigerated now appear to have been deliberately spoiled by an employee.

“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,” the clinic said in a statement to NewsNation.

An internal review initially found it was an inadvertent human error until the individual said they intentionally removed the vaccine from refrigeration.

The individual is no longer employed by Aurora Medical Center.

“We are more than disappointed that this individual’s actions will result in a delay of more than 500 people receiving their vaccine,” the clinic said.

Clinicians were still able to administer some of the vaccines from the vials within the allowable 12-hour post-refrigeration window. Once the vaccine is thawed, it cannot be refrozen.

Their statement said nothing about a possible motive for the action.

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