Swine flu vaccine stolen from Olympia care center

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by MIMI JUNG / KING 5 News and KING5.com Staff

Bio | Email | Follow: @MimiJungKING5

KING5.com

Posted on November 10, 2009 at 1:28 PM

Updated Friday, Jan 4 at 10:45 AM

Swine flu vaccine stolen

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OLYMPIA, Wash. – The Thurston County Sheriff's Office is investigating the theft of 20 doses of swine flu vaccine.

An employee at Providence Sound Home Care and Hospice at 3432 South Bay Road NE in Olympia discovered that someone had stolen two vials of the H1N1 vaccine and compromised a third sometime between November 4 and November 6.

There were 10 doses of vaccine in each vial, so 30 doses were lost at a value of $3000.

"The questions I have are the questions anyone would have. And that would be, what would someone do with it?" asked Catherine Koziar, the hospice director.

The vaccine, which was kept in an unlocked refrigerator, was supposed to be given to health care workers.

"A lot of people are looking for this vaccine. There's not enough vaccine to go around. The vaccine was supposed to go to health care workers who were then going to go out into the community, and now these people are not protected until they get the vaccine from some other source," said Lt. Chris Mealy, Thurston County Sheriff's Office spokesman.

Sheriff's detectives say the building is locked and secured during the day and there is no sign of forced entry, leading them to believe someone who works inside the facility may be responsible.

"I don't know if they tried to sell it. I don't know if they would want to inoculate themselves or their friends. I don't have any idea why anybody would steal it," said Mealy.

If you know anything about the theft, you're asked to contact the Thurston County Sheriff's Office. If caught, the thief or thieves could face felony charges.

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