Aurora Grafton: Discarded COVID-19 vaccine incident was intentional

More than 500 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine had to be "discarded" after they were removed from a pharmacy refrigerator at the Aurora Medical Center in Grafton on Saturday, Dec. 26 in an intentional act, officials said in an update Wednesday, Dec. 30.

Grafton police late Wednesday night confirmed the FBI and FDA are assisting with their investigation.

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On Wednesday, Aurora officials said "the individual in question" admitted to intentionally removing the vaccine -- and authorities have been contacted. It was initially believed to be the result of "human error."

"More than disappointed," officials said the individual is no longer employed with Aurora.

(Photo Illustration by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Statement from Aurora (Dec. 30)

"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. We immediately launched an internal review and were led to believe this was caused by inadvertent human error. The individual in question today acknowledged that they intentionally removed the vaccine from refrigeration. We have notified appropriate authorities for further investigation. We continue to believe that vaccination is our way out of the pandemic. We are more than disappointed that this individual’s actions will result in a delay of more than 500 people receiving their vaccine. This was a violation of our core values, and the individual is no longer employed by us."

Initial statement from Aurora (Dec. 28)

"We learned that about 50 vials of Moderna vaccine were inadvertently removed from a pharmacy refrigerator overnight. Our internal review determined that as a result of unintended human error, the vials were not replaced in the refrigerator after temporarily being removed to access other items. While some of the vaccine was administered to team members on Dec. 26 within the approved 12-hour post-refrigeration window, unfortunately, most of it had to be discarded due to the temperature storage requirements necessary to maintain its viability.

"After successfully vaccinating about 17,000 team members over the last 12 days, we are clearly disappointed and regret this happened."