. After being accused of deliberately spoiling more than 500 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, a Wisconsin pharmacist was fired.
Steven R. Brandenburg, 46, was released from prison on Monday, January 4, as investigators are deciding if the charges against him are lawful.
He confessed to police that he deliberately tried to ruin the vaccines because he was concerned they could alter people’s DNA, WISN reported.
As reported by Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Moderna vaccine against COVID-19 makes use of messenger RNA to “relay instructions for human cells to make a piece of protein like which is found on COVID-19, and so the body continues creating immunity against that and the coronavirus.
The technology does not alter human DNA.
Aurora Health Care Medical Group president Jeff Bahr told the Journal Sentinel that on the nights of Dec. 24 and 25, Brandenburg left 57 vials, each containing about 10 doses of the vaccine, at room temperature.
The day after Aurora Health Care Medical Group officials determined that his inability one week ago to refrigerate the vials of Moderna vaccine had been deliberate, Brandenburg was arrested Dec. 31. The hospital announced that Brandenburg had been shot.
On a probable cause statement from Grafton police, Brandenburg had been held at the Ozaukee County Jail claiming that he possibly committed two felonies: first-degree recklessly endangering welfare and felony property harm.
The judge set a $10,000 signature bail, according to WISN, and Brandenburg would forfeit all of his weapons to sheriff’s deputies. He is therefore forbidden from working in the area of health care and is barred from making direct contact with staff of Aurora.
The Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services has opened an investigation into Brandenburg’s professional record as a licensed pharmacist after his arrest, however he does not seem to have a record of professional misconduct, WISN reported.