Steven Brandenburg, a 46-year-old pharmacist from Wisconsin, has been indicted over intentionally spoiling 57 vials of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine and has been found to be a conspiracy theorist, the Daily Mail reported on Tuesday, citing court documents.
The incident took place at the Grafton Medical Centre, 20 miles north of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Officials said the vials contained enough doses to inoculate around 500 people.
Brandenburg, who worked as a pharmacist technician, confessed to investigators that the reason he deliberately removed the vials from refrigerator and left them out overnight was his belief that the vaccine could hurt people by changing their DNA. The vaccine, which can only last for 12 hours out of refrigeration, was thus ruined.
According to an affidavit of the suspect's former wife, the pharmacist frequently suffered from anxiety and claimed that the world was “crashing down” after the couple filed for divorce in June.
A local court ruled that Brandenburg could be released on a $10,000 signature bond and barred him from working in health care. The court also temporarily prohibited Brandenburg from having any contact with his children due to his mental state.
On 11 December 2020, the US Food and Drug Administration approved the US-based Pfizer and German BioNTech vaccine against the coronavirus amid a rise in cases in large parts of the country. Since vaccinations kicked off, people across the US have reported side effects and adverse reactions to the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.