SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) – A Houston-area public health doctor accused of stealing a vial of COVID-19 vaccine has been arrested.
Harris County prosecutors say Dr. Hasan Gokal took the vial with 9 doses while working at a vaccination site in Humble and gave the vaccines to family and friends.
“He 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,” said Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg.
Prosecutors say they found out about the theft after Gokal told a coworker. If convicted, he could get a year in jail and a four-thousand-dollar fine.
“Dr. Gokal is a dedicated public servant who ensured that COVID-19 vaccine dosages that would have otherwise expired went into the arms of people who met the criteria for receiving it,” said attorney Paul Doyle. “Harris County would have preferred Dr. Gokal let the vaccines go to waste and are attempting to disparage this man’s reputation in the process to support this policy. We look forward to our day in court to right this wrong.”
If convicted, he could get a year in jail and a four-thousand-dollar fine. Gokal has been fired from his position at Harris County Public Health.