NEW YORK (VINnews) — A criminal invetsigation has been announced into a health-care network that operates clinics in Boro Park, Bensonhurst and Williamsburg over administering unauthorized COVID-19 vaccines.
Health Commissioner Howard Zucker made the announcement on Saturday, saying in a statement that ParCare Community Health Network “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.”
According to the statement, the network’s actions violate the state’s plan to reserve the initial limited supply of vaccines for frontline healthcare workers, nursing home residents and staffers.
According to reports, ParCare had received 3,500 doses of the Moderna vaccine, and had vaccinated at least 500 Boro Park residents.
A ParCare ad said that “the FDA authorized” the network to receive “a minimal number of COVID-19 vaccines.”
“The vaccines will be made available on a first-come, first-serve (sic) basis,” according the ad.
The ad also said the vaccines will be given “Only for people in the following categories,” and lists: “Elderly, high risk, underlying conditions.”
A Boro Park resident told the NY Post that his father, in his 60s, had received the vaccine at a ParCare clinic in Williamsburg.
“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,” State Health Commissioner Zucker said.