Texas physician charged with stealing COVID-19 vaccine doses

A Texas physician has been charged with stealing 9 doses of the coveted COVID-19 vaccine whereas working at a county vaccination web site, prosecutors introduced Thursday.

Dr. Hasan Gokal, who labored with the Harris County Public Well being system, is accused of stealing a vial that contained the doses from a vaccination web site in Humble on Dec. 29, Harris County District Lawyer Kim Ogg said in a statement.

Every week later, Gokal bragged in regards to the theft to a co-worker, who then complained to his supervisors, Ogg mentioned.

Gokal was later fired from his job.

Ogg mentioned Gokal stole the doses to present them to his household and associates, leaving those that want a shot essentially the most with out one.

“He abused his place to put his family and friends in line in entrance of people that had gone by way of the lawful course of to be there,” Ogg mentioned of Gokal. “What he did was unlawful and he’ll be held accountable below the legislation.”

Lawyer Paul Doyle defended his consumer arguing the vaccine would have expired anyway.

“Dr. Gokal is a devoted public servant who ensured that COVID-19 vaccine dosages that will have in any other case expired went into the arms of people that met the standards for receiving it,” Doyle said in a statement to KHOU11.

“Harris County would have most well-liked Dr. Gokal let the vaccines go to waste and try to disparage this man’s status within the course of to help this coverage. We sit up for our day in courtroom to proper this mistaken,” the lawyer continued.

Gokal faces as much as a yr in jail and a $four,000 fantastic.