New York launches investigation into alleged COVID-19 vaccine fraud

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The New York attorney general has launched an investigation into whether a healthcare clinic fraudulently obtained COVID-19 vaccine doses and distributed them to the public, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Dec. 28, according to CNBC

The governor declined to offer details on the investigation, but he noted that it involves ParCare Community Health Network. ParCare is accused of misrepresenting itself to New York's department of health to obtain vaccine doses, Mr. Cuomo said. 

Mr. Cuomo said healthcare providers that commit COVID-19 vaccine fraud will face a fine of up to $1 million and revocation of state licenses, according to WPIX. The governor said he wants "to send a clear signal" that the state will not tolerate attempts to subvert the processes put in place for vaccine distribution and administration, according to The Wall Street Journal

The governor's announcement came a few days after New York State Health Commissioner Howard Zucker, MD, released a statement about ParCare allegedly fraudulently obtaining COVID-19 vaccine doses. 

ParCare "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 — contrary to the state's plan to administer it first to frontline healthcare workers, as well as nursing home residents and staffers," Dr. Zucker said. "We take this very seriously and DOH will be assisting State Police in a criminal investigation into this matter."

On Dec. 26, ParCare said it is cooperating with the New York State Department of Health. 

"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 said, according to WABC

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