From the Office of Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs:
KNOXVILLE, Tenn.—Over the weekend, Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs sought guidance from District Attorney General Charme Allen’s Office about an external investigation of the events that led to the unfortunate loss of a shipment of Pfizer vaccines. Based on those conversations, the Mayor reached out to external auditing firm Pugh CPA.
Additionally, Senior Director and Public Health Officer Dr. Martha Buchanan asked the Knoxville Police Department (KPD) to investigate since this happened inside the city limits.
“Nothing so far has indicated malicious intent or criminal activity and we want to confirm that,” said Mayor Jacobs. “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.”
KCHD 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,” said Senior Director and Public Health Officer Dr. Martha Buchanan. “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.”
To ensure the integrity of the ongoing investigations, no additional comments will be made until KPD and Pugh CPA share their findings with Knox County. The investigations could take several weeks.