New York health network faces criminal investigation over COVID-19 vaccine

A woman holds a small bottle labeled with a "Coronavirus COVID-19 Vaccine" sticker and a medical syringe in this illustration

New York State Health officials said on Saturday they are investigating a Brooklyn-based healthcare provider on suspicion it violated state guidelines for distribution of COVID-19 vaccine.

ParCare Community Health Network “may have fraudulently obtained COVID-19 vaccine, transferred it to facilities in other parts of the state in violation of state guidelines and diverted it to members of the public – contrary to the state’s plan to administer it first to frontline healthcare workers, as well as nursing home residents and staffers,” state Health Commissioner Howard Zucker said in a statement.

“We take this very seriously and DOH will be assisting State Police in criminal investigation into this matter,” he added.

ParCare said it is cooperating with the state authorities. In a statement the company said it was striving “to provide critical healthcare services and administer COVID-19 vaccinations to those qualified to receive them under the New York State Department of Health’s guidelines, which includes frontline healthcare workers and first responders.”

It posted on its Facebook page on Tuesday photos of the Moderna vaccine, saying its centers had received the treatments that morning, five days after posting that it had “been authorized to distribute” the vaccine for people meeting certain criteria.

“ONE SMALL INJECTION CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE FOR THE ENTIRE COMMUNITY!” it said.

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