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A Wisconsin pharmacist charged with spoiling hundreds of doses of COVID-19 vaccine has agreed to plead guilty in the case, federal prosecutors announced Tuesday.
Steven Brandenburg, 46, a conspiracy theorist who believed the vaccine would alter human DNA, faces up to 10 years in prison, the US Attorney’s Office in Wisconsin said in a release.
“Pharmacists rank among some of the most trusted professionals,” FBI Agent in Charge Robert Hughes said. “This individual used his special access to tamper with vials of the much-needed COVID-19 vaccine.”
Brandenburg, who worked at the Grafton Aurora Medical Center, left 50 vials of the Moderna vaccine unrefrigerated for 12 hours in December, according to authorities.
The vials contained about 570 doses of the vaccine.
The pharmacist, who has since been fired from his job, allegedly confessed to employees that he exposed the vaccine because he believed it was harmful.
Brandenburg also had his pharmacists license suspended.
False claims about the DNA-altering effects of the inoculations have circulated on conspiracy theory sites online for weeks, but experts strongly refute the claim.
Brandenburg pleaded not guilty to the charges at his arraignment earlier this month, but federal prosecutors said Tuesday that he has signed a plea agreement in the case.
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