NY health provider responds after officials say it may have 'fraudulently' obtained COVID vaccine, diverted it to public

COVID vaccine
File photo. Photo credit Shawn Thew-Pool/Getty Images

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- A healthcare provider in Orange County responded after New York state officials said they were investigating reports that it may have "fraudulently" obtained the COVID vaccine and diverted doses to members of the public.

State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said in a statement Saturday that officials received reports that Parcare Community Health Network may have fraudulently obtained the vaccine and “transferred it to facilities in other parts of the state in violation of state guidelines and diverted it to members of the public.”

Under the state’s plan, the vaccine is to be administered first to frontline healthcare workers, as well as nursing home residents and staffers.

“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.

Parcare lists four locations in Brooklyn, one in Manhattan and one in Monroe, Orange County on its website. A flyer for the company posted to Twitter on Dec. 16 offered the vaccine on a "first come first serve basis."

In a statement, the company said: “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.”

1010 WINS has reached out to Paracare and City Hall for comment.