Knox County mayor seeking separate vaccine investigation

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Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs is asking an external auditing firm to perform a separate investigation into the disappearance of 975 missing Pfizer doses.

According to a press release, Jacobs spoke with Distict Attorney General Charme Allen’s office about the events that the led to the loss of a shipment of Pfizer vaccines.

“Nothing so far has indicated malicious intent or criminal activity and we want to confirm that,” Jacobs saod. “We do know a serious mistake was made because of a series of process issues at the health department. We need to fully understand every aspect of the mistake to be sure it won’t happen again.”

The auditing firm Pugh CPA will conduct an investigation of the events.

Additionally, Senior Director and Public Health Officer Dr. Martha Buchanan, director of the Knox County Health Department, asked the Knoxville Police Department to investigate since this happened inside the city limits, the release stated.

The health department continued their internal investigation through the weekend and believes it is possible its staff inadvertently disposed of a box of vaccines that likely contained a GPS tracker and a temperature monitor.

“As public health officials, we fully understand the gravity of this situation, and we welcome the third-party reviews,” Buchanan said. “We are eager to fully cooperate with the investigations. As we learn more about what exactly occurred, we will continue to implement process improvements and stronger safeguards.” 

The investigations could take several weeks, officials said.