No indictment for doctor accused of COVID-19 vaccine theft

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In this undated photo provided by David Oates, Dr. Hasan Gokal, second left, is pictured with his wife, two daughters and son. A grand jury on Wednesday, June 30, 2021, declined to indict Gokal, the former Houston-area Harris County Public Health doctor who was accused of stealing nine doses of coronavirus vaccine from a damaged vial and administering them to family and friends. In an interview with The Associated Press, Gokal said his decision “was the right thing to do and it meant saving more lives.” (Courtesy of David Oates via AP)

HOUSTON (AP) — A grand jury has declined to indict a former Houston-area health department doctor accused of stealing nine doses of coronavirus vaccine and administering them to family and friends.

Authorities alleged Hasan Gokal, who worked for Harris County Public Health, stole a damaged vial of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine while working at a vaccination site in suburban Houston on Dec. 29.

But on Wednesday, grand jurors in Harris County decided no criminal charges were warranted.

The grand jury’s decision comes after a judge in January dismissed a theft charge filed against Gokal.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Gokal said his decision “was the right thing to do and it meant saving more lives.”

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