Aurora Health Care loss prevention was slow to react to this red rule violation. A Grafton, Wis. pharmacist has been arrested after it was determined he intentionally left 57 vials of COVID-19 vaccine unrefrigerated on two consecutive nights. AHC did not identify the guilty party but Ozaukee County Authorities have reported 46 year-old Steven Brandenburg on its roster as being booked with preliminary charges of criminal damage to property and endangering safety. No motive is known at this time.
The cost of the spoiled vaccine, about 570 doses, is estimated to between $8,000-$11,000 (about $15-$20 per dose, but a patients livelihood much more). 57 doses had been administered over the Christmas holiday before the breach was discovered. The incident was originally considered an unintended human error but the employee was fired after realizing the actions were intentional. In a internal review Aurora officials became suspicious and pinned down the apparent act of a single rogue suspect labeled by AHC President Jeff Bahr as a 'bad actor'.
The Moderna vaccine can be stored frozen for six months and is good refrigerated for 30 days, at room temperature the vaccine has a 12-hour life.
"It is disappointing that COVID-19 vaccine was wasted in Wisconsin," a Department of Health Services statement read.