Government officials in New York are investigating the possible mishandling of the distribution of COVID-19 by one medical provider.
ParCare Community Health Network, a group of treatment centers in New York that provide primary care along with a range of additional services, has become the focus of a criminal investigation after reports raised questions about the vaccine’s acquisition and administration procedures. New York City police are conducting an investigation with the help of authorities at the Department of Health.
ParCare expressed its intention to “actively cooperate with the state” in a message shared to Twitter on Sunday morning.
“During these unprecedented times, we have strived to provide critical health care services and administer COVID-19 vaccinations to those who are eligible to receive them in accordance with the guidelines of the Department of Health in New York Sate … which health workers in include the front line and first responders, “the medical medicine said. center wrote in Sunday’s tweet. “As we actively work with the New York Department of Health on this matter, we will continue to provide top-quality healthcare services to help New York emerge from this pandemic.”
A ParCare Community Health Network spokeswoman declined to comment further. Newsweek issued later Sunday morning. The spokesman quoted ParCare’s public statement, noting that the investigation into the state was ongoing.
Dr. New York Health Commissioner Howard Zucker on Saturday released details of the allegations against ParCare and confirmed the department’s involvement in the investigation. In a statement shared with the official website run by Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office, Zucker said the decision to launch an investigation followed reports that ParCare clinics had “possibly fraudulently” vaccinated to against COVID-19 and distributed it illegally to facilities in New York. .
According to the health commissioner, members of the general public apparently received the vaccines, despite New York’s distribution strategy that individuals belonging to specific high-risk groups receive the first doses.
Similar to most U.S. states’ early vaccination distribution plans, New York has begun administering approved COVID-19 vaccines to health care workers, long-term caregivers, and long-term care staff.
“We take this very seriously and DOH will assist the state police in a criminal investigation into this matter,” Zucker said in a statement on Saturday about the allegations against ParCare. “Anyone who knowingly participates in this scheme will be held responsible to the full extent of the law.”
The government began handing out the approval of Pfizer and BioNTech’s approved vaccine candidate to states several weeks ago, after the vaccine candidate received the emergency approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. A second vaccine candidate, developed by Moderna in partnership with the National Institutes of Health, was sent shortly thereafter, following subsequent approval for emergency use.
Federal guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have recommended that states distribute preliminary doses of vaccines among health workers exposed to COVID-19, as well as residents of long-term care facilities.
Newsweek reached the New York State Department of Health for further comment, but did not respond in a timely manner for publication.