Grafton, December 31: At a time when COVID-19 cases in the United States continue to peak, an employee of a leading health agency "deliberately spoiled 500 doses" of the vaccine against the contagious disease. The case was reported in Grafton, Wisconsin, where an employee of Aurora Medical Centre is accused of damaging the vaccine shots with deliberate intent.

The shots were spoiled on Saturday, after the employee left the 500 doses unrefrigerated overnight. While Aurora had initially reported the act as "accidental", it later approached the police claiming that the accused had deliberately kept the vaccines out of the fridge. UK Military Ready to Administer 100,000 Doses Per Day, Says Defence Secretary Ben Wallace.

The employee was fired, and the matter was referred to the police immediately, said a statement issued by Aurora this week. The accused reportedly "confessed his crime" before the health agency before being suspended. However, he did not reveal the motive behind his act.

“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,” the Aurora statement said.

The police in Grafton issued a statement on Thursday to confirm that a probe has been launched. It further added that officials of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are also "actively" involved in the investigation. The police department, however, declined to commence on whether any arrests were made so far.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Dec 31, 2020 08:24 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website