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Grafton pharmacist accused of spoiling vaccines will have license suspended, pending hearings

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Posted at 4:32 PM, Jan 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-14 13:16:05-05

PORT WASHINGTON — The Grafton pharmacist accused of intentionally spoiling nearly 600 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine will have his pharmacy license suspended, pending the outcome of his criminal and disciplinary hearings.

The pharmacist, Steven Brandenburg, and the Wisconsin Pharmacy Examining Board agreed on the suspension during a meeting Wednesday afternoon. Officials tell TMJ4's Tom Durian the process could take upwards of a year.

The Ozaukee County District Attorney, Adam Gerol, said the criminal case against Brandenburg is under review. So far, no charges have been filed.

Authorities say Brandenburg is the pharmacist accused of deliberately spoiling vials of vaccine at the Grafton Aurora Medical Center on two occasions.

During an interview, Brandenburg told investigators that he believed the vaccine was not safe for people and would "harm them and change their DNA." Brandenburg, according to the Grafton Police Department, is an "admitted conspiracy theorist."

Pharmacist accused of spoiling COVID-19 vaccine believed it would change people's DNA, officials say

Medical professionals have repeatedly stated the mRNA COVID vaccines do not alter a person's DNA.

Brandenburg was arrested on Dec. 31 on charges of first degree recklessly endangering safety, adulterating a prescription drug, and criminal damage to property.

Fifty-seven people did receive the vaccine after it was left out, but there is believed to be no health harm, officials with Aurora said.

Gerol said if the vaccines were not actually destroyed then despite the defendant's intent, Brandenburg could face a misdemeanor charge instead of a felony.

During a court appearance on Jan. 4, a judge ordered Brandenburg's release on a $10,000 signature bond.

Brandenburg is scheduled for a status hearing on Jan. 19.

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