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Advocate Aurora Health has fired a pharmacist who allegedly tampered with 57 vials of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine by intentionally removing them from a refrigerator. And the Village of Grafton Police Department announced Thursday that officers arrested the former employee.
The interference resulted in 57 people receiving ineffective or less effective doses of the vaccine and more than 500 doses being tossed out, Alison Dirr reports for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
In a statement Thursday, Grafton police said the former pharmacist — a Grafton resident — admitted to intentionally removing the vials, knowing that doing so would render the vaccine unusable. The department withheld his name “pending his former advisement of charges.” Recommended charges include three different felonies.
The episode has sparked nationwide outrage as the country struggles to quickly distribute vaccines needed to end the pandemic.
“This is just a monstrous thing to do,” state Sen. Chris Larson, D-Milwaukee, tweeted Wednesday night. “We have plenty to worry about with this pandemic, but I never thought we’d have a vaccine saboteur.”
Programming note: Wisconsin COVID-19 Update will take Friday off. We’ll return Monday afternoon in the New Year.
Aurora pharmacist intentionally removed COVID-19 vaccines from fridge twice; 57 people got less-effective doses, 500 doses ruined — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Students faced barriers as almost every Wisconsin school building shuttered last spring — Wisconsin State Journal
‘Use it or lose it’: Some Janesville police officers receive COVID-19 vaccinations — Janesville Gazette
More Rock County Jail inmates test positive for COVID-19; some refuse tests — Janesville Gazette
State faces challenges renewing extended unemployment benefits under new coronavirus relief plan — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
The plague year — The New Yorker
Over 950,000 people have activated COVID-19 exposure app — WSAW-TV
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Data to note
WisContext offers these visualizations of Wisconsin COVID-19 statistics. New documented COVID-19 infections and test-positivity rates are far below their pre-Thanksgiving peak. The state is also seeing fewer COVID-19 patients hospitalized since mid-November, now hovering at mid-October levels.
Calculate your exposure risk
In Wisconsin, even small gatherings can carry a big risk of exposure to the coronavirus, according to a nationwide tool that estimates the danger by the size of gathering and county in which it is held. Data scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Stanford University developed the tool, which you can find here.
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