Caregiver accused of illegally distributing vaccines

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ALBANY, NY – Healthcare providers and workers in New York City who commit COVID-19 vaccine fraud will be subject to a fine of up to $ 1 million and revocation of all licenses of State, Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Monday. The announcement comes after a healthcare company has been accused of fraudulently obtaining the COVID-19 vaccine and administering it to members of the public.

ParCare is under investigation by the New York attorney general’s office, Cuomo said. They would have twisted the company to get the COVID-19 vaccine, then move doses around the state and administer them to people who are not yet eligible to receive them, Health Commissioner Howard Zucker said.

Zucker said he received reports that ParCare may have violated state guidelines by moving the vaccine to other parts of New York City and giving it to people not in the first phase of distribution. , which only includes health workers as well as nursing homes. residents and staff.

BoroPark24 reported that ParCare received 3,500 doses of the Moderna vaccine on December 21. Company CEO Gary Schlesinger suggested in the report that anyone over the age of 60 or with underlying health conditions could register online to receive a vaccine through ParCare.

“You have to be on this list,” Schlesinger told BoroPark24. “Once you’re on the list, we need to verify that you’re a healthcare worker, over 60, or have underlying illnesses. “

Schlesinger also retweeted pictures of himself receiving the vaccine on December 22. The tweet has since been deleted, but another tweet from ParCare that was retweeted by Schlesinger displays a leaflet promoting vaccines “only to people in the following categories: elderly, high risk, underlying conditions.”

In a statement on Saturday evening, a spokesperson for ParCare said the healthcare provider only administered the vaccine to eligible people according to state guidelines.

“In these unprecedented times, we have strived to provide essential health care services and administer COVID-19 vaccines to those qualified to receive them as directed by the New York State Department of Health. , which include frontline health workers and first responders. ParCare Community Health Network has a long history of partnering with New York City to provide vital health services to New Yorkers who need them most – including providing COVID-19 testing – especially for New Yorkers. Yorkers in medically underserved communities that have been hit hardest 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 York to emerge from this pandemic, ”the spokesperson said.

ParCare’s website describes the company as “a multi-specialty center providing services such as primary care, internal medicine, dermatology, physiotherapy and pediatrics; helping our patients maintain optimal health and prevent disease. potential “.

The governor has said he will sign an executive order ensuring that the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine will be done properly.

“We will not tolerate any fraud in the vaccination process,” Cuomo said. “Anyone who engages in fraud will be held responsible. “

The sanctions will apply to healthcare providers as well as doctors, nurses, pharmacists and any other licensed healthcare professionals who commit fraud, the governor said.

“So if you engage in fraud on this vaccine, we will revoke your license to practice in New York State,” he added.

Lauren Cook and Magee Hickey contributed to this report on PIX11.com.


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