NY medical supplier says he’s cooperating amid accusations of illegal COVID vaccine distribution

New York State officials are investigating possible mismanagement by a healthcare provider of the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine.

ParCare Community Health Network, a New York-based treatment center group that offers primary care as well as a range of additional services, has come under criminal investigation after reports raised questions about its procedures acquisition and administration of vaccines. New York State Police are investigating, with assistance from Department of Health officials.

ParCare expressed its intention to “actively cooperate” with the state in a message shared on Twitter Sunday morning.

“In these unprecedented times, we have strived to provide essential health services and administer COVID-19 vaccines to those qualified to receive them as directed by the New York State Department of Health… center wrote in Sunday’s tweet. “As we actively cooperate with the New York State Department of Health on this issue, we will continue to provide high quality health services to help New York emerge from this pandemic. “

1/3 In these unprecedented times, we have strived to provide essential health services and administer COVID-19 vaccines to those qualified to receive them as directed by the New York State Department of Health >>>

– ParCare Medical Center (@ParCare) December 27, 2020

A spokesperson for the ParCare Community Health Network declined to provide further comment when News week contacted later Sunday morning. The spokesperson cited ParCare’s public statement and noted that the state’s investigation is ongoing.

New York Health Commissioner Dr Howard Zucker released details of the allegations against ParCare on Saturday and confirmed his department’s involvement in the investigation. In a statement shared on the official website operated by Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office, Zucker said the decision to launch an investigation followed reports that ParCare clinics “may have fraudulently obtained” vaccines to protect themselves against COVID-19 and illegally distributed them to New York City facilities. .

Members of the general public have reportedly received the vaccines, according to the health commissioner, despite New York’s distribution strategy requiring people in specific high-risk groups to receive initial doses.

Similar to the early vaccine distribution plans for most states in the United States, New York has begun administering approved COVID-19 vaccines to frontline health workers, residents of long-term care facilities, and staff in nursing homes. long-term care.

“We take this very seriously and the DOH will assist state police with a criminal investigation into this matter,” Zucker said in Saturday’s statement regarding the charges against ParCare. “Anyone who knowingly participated in this scheme will be held responsible to the fullest extent of the law.”

New York State officials are leading a criminal investigation into a healthcare provider’s allegedly fraudulent COVID-19 vaccine distribution procedures. Executive Director Elaine Boerger fills a syringe with the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine at the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center (EBNHC) in Boston, Massachusetts on December 24, 2020.
JOSEPH PREZIOSO / AFP via Getty Images

The government began distributing shipments of Pfizer and BioNTech-approved vaccine candidates to the states several weeks ago, after the vaccine candidate received emergency use clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. A second vaccine candidate, developed by Moderna in partnership with the National Institutes of Health, was shipped soon after, after its subsequent approval for emergency use.

Federal guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended that states distribute preliminary doses of the vaccine to healthcare workers at risk of exposure to COVID-19, as well as residents of healthcare facilities. long-term care.

News week contacted the New York State Department of Health for further comment, but did not receive a response in time for the publication.

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