Hospital worker fired for deliberately leaving hundreds of doses of COVID vaccine out of the fridge

A Wisconsin hospital worker was fired for deliberately removing COVID-19 vaccine from a refrigerator, forcing the hospital to discard more than 500 doses. Aurora Medical Center – Grafton, outside Milwaukee, said Wednesday that 57 vials of Moderna vaccine had been removed from a pharmacy cabinet and left overnight.

The CBS 2 Chicago reported that the hospital has launched an investigation. However, attorney Aurora Health admitted on Wednesday that the employee responsible for it did so on purpose.

The hospital said it had notified the relevant authorities for further investigation.

“We still believe that vaccination is our way out of the pandemic,” Adv. Aurora Health said in a statement. “We are more than disappointed that the actions of this individual will result in a delay of more than 500 people receiving their vaccine. It was a violation of our core values ​​and the individual is no longer employed by us.”

Police in Grafton said no comment was made when Marissa Parra of CBS 2 called and asked if they were involved or investigating the incident.

Like the other vaccine approved for emergency use in the United States, manufactured by Pfizer, the Moderna vaccine requires initial transport and storage at freezing temperatures, but can then be stored locally at more typical refrigeration temperatures for a few days before use.

Despite federal officials’ goal of immunizing 20 million Americans by the end of this year, according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention’s COVID Data Tracker, only about 12 million doses were distributed on Thursday morning, and less than 3 million was actually administered.

Health and Human Services officials, the Department of Defense and Operation Warp Speed ​​- the military-led operation to deliver vaccines across the country – told reporters on Wednesday that the slower-than-expected administration of the shots was partly due to can be due to a delay. in reporting, but they acknowledged that not all vaccine doses had reached their intended destination.

Army General Gustave Perna, chief operating officer of Operation Warp Speed, admitted that some of the doses were still “on the way” while he was speaking on Wednesday. Nevertheless, he expressed confidence in the government’s efforts to vaccinate Americans against the coronavirus.

“I think the distribution is going really well,” he said, contradicting the CDC figures by saying on Wednesday that “more than 14 million doses of the vaccine have been distributed.”’s Audrey McNamara contributed to this report.