State health officials in New York are investigating a New York City health care provider regarding an alleged violation of protocol as part of the state’s rollout of the coronavirus vaccine.
ParCare Community Health Network in Brooklyn 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,” according to New York Health Commissioner Howard Zucker.
The company told Reuters it was cooperating with the criminal investigation and said it aims “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.”
A report surfaced in The New York Times last week detailing how NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital had given access to the vaccine to some hospital employees who were not at high risk of contracting the virus.
Staffers at other hospitals told the Times they raised concern internally but have not spoken out for fear of professional retaliation.
New York state’s vaccine rollout program dictates that high-risk individuals such as doctors, nurses and first responders have priority when it comes to getting the vaccine.
“We take this very seriously and [the New York Department of Health] will be assisting State Police in criminal investigation into this matter,” Zucker said of the ParCare allegations.