Charges dismissed for doctor accused of stealing COVID-19 vaccine

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Boxes containing the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine are prepared to be shipped at the McKesson distribution center in Olive Branch, Miss., Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, Pool)

HOUSTON (AP) – A judge has dismissed a theft charge against a Houston area health department doctor who had been accused by prosecutors of stealing nine doses of coronavirus vaccine from a damaged vial and administering them to family and friends.

Authorities had alleged that Hasan Gokal, who worked for Harris County Public Health, stole a vial of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine while working at a vaccination site at a suburban Houston park on Dec. 29.  

But County Court-At-Law Judge Franklin Bynum on Monday found there was no probable cause to charge Gokal with theft. Paul Doyle, an attorney for Gokal, said his client’s name was disparaged and he was fired without cause. Prosecutors did not have immediate comment on the dismissal.

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