Grand jury won't indict Texas physician accused of vaccine theft

A Texas physician accused of stealing a COVID-19 vaccine vial from a vaccination site where he was working will not be indicted, according to The New York Times.

Hasan Gokal, MD, a physician who worked for the Harris County Public Health Department, was accused this year of stealing doses from the Lindsay Lyons Park vaccination site in Humble, Texas, on Dec. 29 and vaccinating some personal contacts and his chronically ill wife using doses with a six-hour time limit for expiration.

A Harris County, Texas, judge dismissed a charge of theft by a public servant against him Jan. 25, citing lack of probable cause.

Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg continued pursuing the case and presented it to a grand jury, which declined on June 30 to indict Dr. Gokal, according to the Times.

Dr. Gokal was fired from the health department Jan. 8, after the allegation. His attorney argued that the vaccines in question were administered to eligible vaccine recipients after the physician first offered them to health workers and police on-site and tried to find other recipients. According to the Times, Ms. Ogg asserted the physician had "abused his position to place his friends and family in line in front of people who had gone through the lawful process to be there."

Read the full Times article here.

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