Nurse Sentenced in Flu Vaccine Dilution
ST. PAUL, Minn. – A nurse who staged a flu clinic using diluted vaccine on a college campus was sentenced Wednesday to nine months in federal prison.
Michelle Torgerson apologized to more than three dozen students and faculty members who received watered down shots that were not strong enough to ward off the flu.
"It was never my intent to bring harm to anyone. It was never my intent to bring worry," she said.
U.S. District Judge Richard Kyle, in passing sentence, said Torgerson's misconduct was serious.
"Somebody could have been hurt and hurt bad," he said.
Torgerson pleaded guilty in May to a felony charge of dispensing a drug without a prescription. Four other charges were dropped in exchange for her guilty plea.
A year ago, Torgerson created a scare at Augsburg College in Minneapolis after putting on a $20-a-shot clinic and fleeing when school officials confronted her about being there.
She pocketed about $580 in cash, according to the indictment.
Torgerson admitted to thinning flu vaccine with saline to increase the quantity of her supply.
Torgerson has said she would stop practicing nursing under an agreement with state regulators.
Augsburg, a liberal arts college with about 3,000 students, has a new policy requiring outside vendors to apply for a permit and display it prominently.