New York health care provider probed for ‘fraudulently’ obtaining & distributing Covid-19 vaccine

New York health care provider probed for ‘fraudulently’ obtaining & distributing Covid-19 vaccine

New York police are investigating Parcare Community Health Network on suspicion that it fraudulently obtained Covid-19 vaccine doses and broke rules reserving the first round of shots to medical workers and nursing home residents.

Parcare may have transferred wrongfully obtained doses from the Hudson Valley to facilities in other parts of state and diverted them to members of the public, rather than those currently eligible to be inoculated, State Health Commissioner Howard Zucker said on Saturday. “We take this very seriously,” he said, and the state Health Department will assist State Police in the criminal probe.

The not-for-profit Parcare describes itself as a “culturally sensitive” health provider with primary-care and specialty services at six locations in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Kiryas Joel, a largely Hasidic Jewish village in the Hudson Valley.

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Parcare reportedly received 3,500 doses of Moderna’s new Covid-19 vaccine on Monday and made them available to health care workers and to anyone else who is over age 60 or has underlying medical conditions that make them vulnerable to the virus. Parcare CEO Gary Schlesinger retweeted a picture of himself receiving the vaccine shot on Tuesday.

The company made a deal with New York City in October to increase the availability of rapid Covid-19 tests.

As for alleged violation of vaccine-distribution rules, Zucker said, “Anyone found to have knowingly participated in this scheme will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”

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