New York state probes possibly fradulently obtained coronavirus vaccines

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A well being care supplier in New York could have fraudulently obtained Covid-19 vaccines and diverted them to members of the general public in violation of precedence pointers, the state authorities mentioned on Saturday.

New York state police has began a felony investigation into the matter, which may very well be the state’s first vaccine distribution-related scandal.

The State Department of Health is conscious of stories that ParCare Community Health Network, a supplier with a clinic in upstate Orange County, “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,” the state’s well being commissioner Howard Zucker mentioned in a press release.

ParCare’s web site exhibits it has six areas, together with 4 in Brooklyn, New York, and says its sufferers are “mainly Orthodox Hasidic Jews, Hispanics, and African Americans.”

A hyperlocal Orthodox Jewish information website, BoroPark 24, revealed a narrative on Dec. 21, saying ParCare had obtained a cargo of Moderna Inc.’s vaccines, and confirmed bins of the vaccines in what gave the impression to be a fridge. It additionally had what gave the impression to be a duplicate of a ParCare commercial touting availability of “The Newest Healthcare Revolution!” on a “first come first serve” foundation.

Gary Schlesinger, chief exeuctive officer of ParCare, was cited saying people who find themselves a “health care worker, are over 60, or have underlying conditions” can register on-line to get a vaccine.

That differs from state pointers, which permit solely frontline well being care employees, or employees and residents of nursing houses, to get the primary batch of vaccines.

“We take this very seriously and DOH will be assisting State Police in a criminal investigation into this matter,” mentioned Zucker within the assertion. “Anyone found to have knowingly participated in this scheme will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”

Representatives with ParCare didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark despatched on Saturday.

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