A Houston doctor who was accused of stealing COVID-19 vaccines defended giving them to buddies and family — saying he was doing what his “coronary heart tells him is the best factor.”
Dr. Hasan Gokal claimed that the 10 Moderna vaccine doses on the vaccination website in Humble would have gone unused if he didn’t take them residence on Dec. 29, information station KHOU reported.
“Within the occasion you get leftover with any vaccine, don’t waste any,” Gokal informed the station.
“Go discover people who find themselves eligible in that tier. In the event you can’t discover any, go to the subsequent tier. In the event you can’t discover that, give it to anyone who’s keen and capable of take it.”
Gokal mentioned it had been the primary day that the Harris County website had been open — and well being officers hadn’t given him any steering on what to do with leftover vaccines.
“On the day that this occurred that; there was no such coverage in place at that time,” Gokal informed the outlet.
With solely six hours till the pictures would expire, he began going by his telephone to succeed in out to folks he knew who have been eligible for the vaccine.
He mentioned he was capable of finding 10 individuals who certified for the shot, however then on the final minute, one of many folks canceled on him.
Gokal mentioned that with minutes to spare, he gave the ultimate shot to his spouse, who would have been eligible underneath the subsequent tier for the vaccine.
“My spouse is a 1B, as a result of she’s been out and in of hospital for the final 18 months a number of occasions due to a lung situation,” he mentioned.
He mentioned he submitted the paperwork the subsequent day, however was fired the next week in what he thought was a misunderstanding about why he took the vaccines off-site.
“My background is emergency medication,” he mentioned. “You do what you need to do to avoid wasting that life it doesn’t matter what.”
Harris County District Lawyer Kim Ogg later introduced costs towards him for stealing 9 vaccines, however a decide dismissed the case.
Gokal nonetheless maintains he didn’t do something unsuitable.
“As a doctor, I can’t simply settle for that and stroll away from what my coronary heart tells me is the best factor to do,” Gokal mentioned.