Coronavirus NY: State vows to prosecute medical provider accused of illegally distributing vaccine

Coronavirus Update for New York
NEW YORK (WABC) -- A New York-based medical provider is being investigated for allegedly fraudulently obtaining and distributing a COVID-19 vaccine, Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said in a statement Saturday.

Zucker said the Department of Health was made aware of reports about Parcare Community Health Network in Orange County.

Reports claim the network somehow fraudulently obtained doses of a COVID-19 vaccine and transferred them to other facilities throughout the state, in violation of state guidelines.

Also concerning, the vaccines were reportedly given to members of the public and not frontline healthcare workers or nursing home residents and staff, as stipulated by the state.

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

Eyewitness News obtained exclusive video of state police visiting a Parcare office in Brooklyn on Saturday night.

Their site describes their work as "a multi-specialty center providing such services as primary care, internal medicine, dermatology, physical therapy, and pediatrics; helping our patients to maintain optimal health and prevent potential diseases."

In October, New York's Test and Trace Corps announced an expanded partnership with Parcare, to provide free COVID-19 testing and resources for the Orthodox Jewish community.

Parcare Community Health Network released a statement on Saturday night saying:

"During these unprecedented times, we have striven 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. Parcare Community Health Network has a long history of partnering with the City of New York to provide vital healthcare services to New Yorkers who need them most - including providing COVID-19 testing - especially for New Yorkers in medically underserved communities who've been hardest hit by COVID-19. As we actively cooperate with the New York State Department of Health on this matter, we will continue to perform top-quality healthcare services to help New York come out of this pandemic."

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Officials say the suspect followed the 51-year-old woman on East 48th Street just after 2 p.m. Thursday as she left the governor's office.


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