A Texas physician was fired from his job and is currently facing charges after stealing doses of this coronavirus vaccine to administer to his family and friends, prosecutors say.
"He abused his position to put his family and friends in line before individuals who'd gone through the legal process to be there," District Attorney Kim Ogg stated in a statement. "What he did was illegal and he will be held liable under the law"
Prosecutors allege Gokal swiped a vial containing nine doses of this highly sought after vaccine whilst working in a county vaccination website in Humble on Dec. 29.
In early January, Gokal advised a fellow health department worker that"he'd obtained a punctured vial of this Moderna vaccine... in the conclusion of surgeries and that he chose the vial off ice and vaccinated his family and friends," the Associated Press reported, citing a probable cause complaint.
The district attorney's office stated the worker reported Gokal to managers as well as the physician was fired after an investigation from Harris County Public Health.
"Gokal disregarded county protocols set up to guarantee vaccine isn't wasted but managed to vulnerable inhabitants and interrogate employees to a waiting list," the lawyer's office said.
However, his attorney is claiming that the vaccines in question were put to go to waste.
"Dr. Gokal is a committed public servant who assured that COVID-19 vaccine doses that could have otherwise died went in the arms of men and women who fulfilled the criteria for getting it," Attorney Paul Doyle advised KHOU11.
"Harris County could have favored Dr. Gokal allow the vaccines go to waste and so are trying to disparage this guy's standing in the process to confirm this coverage," he further added.