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PORT WASHINGTON, Wis. – The fired Wisconsin pharmacist suspected of intentionally spoiling more than 500 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine was charged Tuesday with a misdemeanor of attempted felony criminal damage to property.

Steven Brandenburg, 46, of Grafton faces a $10,000 fine and up to 9 months in prison if convicted, WISN reported.

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Brandenburg confessed to police that he deliberately tried to ruin the vaccines because he was concerned the inoculations could alter people’s DNA. The messenger RNA technology employed by both the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines in no way reprograms human DNA.

Jeff Bahr, president of Aurora Health Care Medical Group, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that Brandenburg left 57 vials – each containing about 10 doses of the vaccine – at room temperature the nights of Dec. 24 and 25.

“I did so with the purpose of allowing the vaccine to be outside the temperature range, so that it would not be effective,” Brandenburg wrote.

Since his Dec. 31 arrest, Brandenburg has been fired by Aurora Health Care Medical Group, and a state board has suspended his license, TMJ4 reported.

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