A Wisconsin, Milwaukee pharmacist has been arrested by Grafton police on charges of first degree wantonly endangering safety, for adulterating a prescription drug and for criminal damage to property.
He was Identified as Steven Bandenburg, by looking at the charges he was slapped when imprisoned. The Wisconsin licensed pharmacist is said to have kept 57 vials of the Moderna vaccine deliberately outside the fridge.
The vials were discovered early Saturday morning by a pharmacist technician. He placed the vials in the fridge and reported the incident.
It was initially thought to be an inadvertent error but on Wednesday Aurora Medical Center said that the accused had acted “intentionally.” He was fired. The Grafton police and the FBI were investigating the matter.
Dr. Jeff Bahr, Wisconsin Head of Aurora Health Care Medical Group, said that they had first thought that the pharmacist had kept the vials out on Friday night as they were discovered by another technician Saturday morning. They later realized that the vials had also been removed from the fridge on Thursday night but were put back in the fridge on Friday morning without anyone noticing.
Due this inadvertent error 57 vials were used for inoculations. The other vials were discarded after the Center realized that they could have been contaminated or ineffective.
The Grafton center of Aurora is working closely with Moderna to determine how those who got the first dose, which had been kept out of the fridge, could be safely vaccinated.