Auditor, police asked to investigate box of missing vaccines

Published 4:40 pm Monday, February 15, 2021

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KNOXVILLE (AP) — Officials in eastern Tennessee have hired an external auditor and asked police to investigate after a box of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines went missing.
Public health officials announced last week the 975 doses were likely thrown out by accident.
Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs said on Monday that he reached out to external auditing firm Pugh CPA after seeking advice from District Attorney General Charme Allen’s Office. In addition, Knox County Health Department Director Dr. Martha Buchanan asked the Knoxville Police Department to investigate.
Knox County said state health officials confirmed that the doses were shipped to the region, but local officials said they have no record of receiving them.
Buchanan has said that based on GPS data, she believes the box containing the doses was probably discarded by someone who thought they were throwing out dry ice. Due to security reasons, vaccine doses are shipped without any readily identifiable information attached.
“Nothing so far has indicated malicious intent or criminal activity and we want to confirm that,” Jacobs said on Monday. “We do know a serious mistake was made because of a series of process issues at the health department. We need to fully understand every aspect of the mistake to be sure it won’t happen again.”

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