Police in Florida are on the lookout for a thief who made off with a car filled with dozens of vials of coronavirus vaccine worth some $10,000, posting a nationwide alert in their hunt for the suspect.
A vehicle stolen from the Strawberry Festival Grounds in Plant City, Florida – roughly 25 miles east of Tampa – on Wednesday contained 30 vials of the immunization, a local NBC affiliate reported.
The Plant City Police Department issued a statement on the incident alongside surveillance footage of the suspect on Thursday, calling on the public to share any information they might have on the vehicle’s whereabouts.
A police report stated the car’s keys were left in its ignition before the robbery, but it remains unclear whether the suspect knew of what was inside.
Officials told local media the 30 vials were properly refrigerated at the time of the theft, destined for a nearby vaccination center located on the festival grounds.
Two coronavirus inoculations have been approved for use in the US – one developed jointly by Pfizer and BioNTech and another by Moderna – however police did not clarify which was involved in the incident. The pilfered vials could amount to between 180 and 300 vaccine doses, as each ampule of Pfizer’s jab contains 6 shots, while Moderna’s packs in 10. Both require two doses per recipient.
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