Officials investigate box of Covid-19 vaccines found in a Puerto Rico street

A box full of nearly two dozen Moderna Covid-19 vaccines was found on the street of a mountainous town in rural Puerto Rico, officials said Wednesday.

The reports surfaced after a resident of the town of Morovis handed a box that contained syringes and vaccine vials to officers of the Morovis Municipal Police. The person claimed to have found the box in a street in the Barahona neighborhood in Morovis.

Morovis Mayor Carmen Maldonado said she spoke with Puerto Rico’s Deputy Health Secretary, Dr. Iris Cardona, “so that the case can be investigated immediately. Thanks to the Morovis citizen who responsibly called the Municipal Police and filed the corresponding complaint,” Maldonado tweeted in Spanish.

During a press conference on Wednesday afternoon, Puerto Rico’s Health Secretary Carlos Mellado confirmed that the agency is currently investigating the case and is in the process of interviewing the person who found the box.

“We are talking about 31 vaccines that, sadly, were lost. I’m very upset and, most of all, outraged,” Mellado said in Spanish. “We have to investigate, up to the last consequences, because there is a pressing interest of the Puerto Rican people to know what happened.”

On an island of 3.2 million people, the virus has infected at least 91, 834 people and killed 2,007.

Puerto Rico has received nearly 630,000 Covid-19 doses so far. Of these, at least 598,000 have already been distributed across the island and over 418,000 have already been administered, officials at the press conference said.

Sixty-eight percent of those who have been vaccinated have only received the first dose of the vaccine, while 32 percent have already received their second dose.

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