New York State Department of Health officials announced on Saturday that they would launch a criminal investigation into a network of health clinics. The investigation is based on speculation that the provider, ParCare Community Health Network, violated the state’s guidelines in obtaining the COVID-19 vaccine and distributing it to members of the public.
According to the statement released by New York’s Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker, there have been reports alleging that ParCare “may have fraudulently obtained the 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.” Dr. Zucker explained that the state’s guidelines prioritize vaccinations of the most at-risk health care workers and nursing home residents and employees. He added, “[w]e take this very seriously and [Department of Health] will be assisting State Police in a criminal investigation into this matter.”
ParCare maintains that it has followed the Department of Health’s guidelines. The health network clarified that it strictly provides the COVID-19 vaccinations to those qualified to receive them and that it would “actively cooperate” with the investigation into the matter.
Last week, President and CEO Gary Schlesinger claimed ParCare had received 2,300 doses of the Moderna vaccine and had “hundreds of patients” coming in to receive the vaccination. ParCare has also posted photos of the vaccine on its social media. The posts state, “ONE SMALL INJECTION CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE FOR THE ENTIRE COMMUNITY.” As of Monday, New York state has reported more than 922,000 cases of COVID-19 and more than 37,000 deaths related to the virus.
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