Texas Medical Board clears Houston doctor accused of stealing vial of COVID-19 vaccine
HOUSTON – An investigation into a Harris County doctor accused of stealing COVID-19 vaccines has been dismissed by the Texas Medical Board, according to a letter shared with KPRC 2 Investigates. The board told Dr. Hasan Gokal it determined there was insufficient evidence to a prove that a violation of the Medical Practice Act occurred. “It’s a huge relief,” said Paul Doyle, the doctor’s attorney. AdSome of the doses went to the doctor’s acquaintances, and the last one went to his wife, who has a pulmonary disease, Doyle said. The matter isn’t completely over because Doyle said prosecutors indicated they may still take the case to a grand jury.
‘Don’t criminalize a physician’: Doctor prosecutors accused of stealing vaccines tells his side of the story
SUGAR LAND, Texas – It takes only seconds for Dr. Hasan Gokal to recall the last COVID-19 vaccine he administered. “Yeah, the last vaccine was to my wife,” Gokal said. “Don’t criminalize a physician for making a judgment based on their training,” said Gokal. He claims the vaccines were going to expire, but instead they ended up in arms connected to him. Ad“The urgency, the need to get it out, the need to not let anything waste,” said Gokal.
What happens to leftover COVID-19 vaccine doses?
HOUSTON – Criminal charges were dropped against a Harris County Public Health doctor who was fired after being accused of stealing a vial of the COVID-19 vaccine. The bigger question is, what happens to leftover doses to make sure they’re safeguarded at the various vaccination sites? Protocols and policiesKPRC 2 discovered the policies and protocols vary slightly between the different hospitals, counties and health districts that handle and administer the COVID-19 vaccine. “Accounting for medications is a process well known to clinical staff,” said Sally Sparks, Ft. Bend County Health and Human Services. If there are not enough staff to receive the unused doses, we allow Fort Bend County clinical staff to sign out the doses in the dispensing log.
Criminal charge dropped against fired area doctor accused of stealing vial of COVID-19 vaccine
HOUSTON – KPRC 2 has learned authorities have dropped the criminal charge against an area doctor accused of stealing a vial of the COVID-19 vaccine. As I stated publicly last week, an apology by Harris County Public Health and the Harris County District Attorney’s Office towards Dr. Gokal and his family will not be enough. Gokal would have faced a Class A Misdemeanor, which carries a penalty of up to a year in jail and a $4,000 fine. Prior to the charge’s dismissal, he was being prosecuted by the Public Corruption Division of the Harris County District Attorney’s Office. ”All the evidence will likely be presented to a grand jury and probably cause may be determined by the grand jury.
5 things for Houstonians to know for Friday, Jan. 22
Fired Harris County Health doctor accused of stealing COVID-19 vaccine, DA Kim Ogg saysA Harris County Public Health doctor is accused of stealing a vial of the COVID-19 vaccine, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced in a press release Thursday. A week later, he told a fellow Harris County Public Health employee, who then reported him to supervisors. According to Harris County Public Health, the mishandling of the vaccine could result in the loss of government funding for the county, which sparked an investigation into the accusation. Harris Health System canceling COVID vaccination appointments due to short supplyThe Harris Health System has found itself in a predicament as they expect to run out of their COVID vaccine supply by noon Friday. But, industry experts say the shortage will affect much more than Harris Health patients.
Attorney for doctor accused of stealing COVID-19 vaccine says DA investigation false, client was following CDC, health guidelines
The attorney of a Harris County Public Health doctor held a news conference Friday to address the allegations accusing him of stealing a vial of the COVID-19 vaccine made by Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg in a news release Thursday. The release said that a week later, he told a fellow Harris County Public Health employee, who then reported him to supervisors. According to Doyle, Gokal had been administering vaccines and overseeing a vaccination site on Dec. 29. A Harris County Public Health adminstrator stated that there are protocols in place to deal with unused vaccines and open vials, and those protocols were not followed. He is being prosecuted by the Public Corruption Division of the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.