‘Paramedic of the Year’ Is Arrested After Covid-19 Vaccine Theft, Sheriff Says

An emergency worker in Florida was arrested this week in connection with the theft of coronavirus vaccine doses, just 12 days after he had been recognized as a county’s “paramedic of the year,” the authorities said on Tuesday.

The paramedic, Joshua Colon, 31, had been responsible for administering doses of the vaccine to firefighters in Polk County, the county’s sheriff, Grady Judd, said during a news conference.

But earlier this month, Mr. Colon could not account for three of the doses of the Moderna vaccine, which the authorities said he initially claimed had been discarded. When he was pressed about the missing doses by a battalion chief, Mr. Colon falsified vaccine screening and consent forms with two false names and the name of a retired firefighter, Sheriff Judd said.

The missing doses were illegally removed from a refrigerator by one of Mr. Colon’s supervisors, a fire captain, who told Mr. Colon to leave for his break, the sheriff said. The fire captain, Anthony Damiano, turned himself in to the authorities on Wednesday, according to an affidavit, which stated that Mr. Damiano had previously asked Mr. Colon if he could help him obtain the vaccine for his mother.

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