Felony vaccine tampering in Wisconsin, Evers signs bill

Gov. Tony Evers on Friday signed into law a bill making it a felony to intentionally damage vaccines.

The Wisconsin Legislature passed the bipartisan measure last month.

The new law came in response to a pharmacist in a Milwaukee suburb spoiling more than 500 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in January 2021. He pleaded guilty to the federal charges and was sentenced to three years in prison.

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Bill supporters said state law needs to be clarified because it doesn’t adequately address crimes related to tampering with vaccines and other medical products. The pharmacist who destroyed the vaccine dozes at Aurora Medical Center in Grafton was convicted of two federal charges of attempting to tamper with a consumer product.

The new law makes it a Class I felony to intentionally make a vaccine unsafe, tainted, spoiled, ineffective or otherwise unusable. That is punishable by up to 3 1/2 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

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