ALBANY, N.Y. — A health provider in Orange County is accused by the state of New York of “fraudulently” obtaining the COVID-19 vaccine, health officials said Saturday.
Parcare Community Health Network may have gotten the vaccine and diverted it to members of the public violation of state guidelines, which want to get it first to health care workers, State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker announced in a statement.
“The State Department of Health has been made aware of reports that Parcare Community Health Network, an Orange County provider, 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,” said Zucker. “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.”
Parcare’s website describes themselves as “a multi-specialty center providing such services as primary care, internal medicine, dermatology, physical therapy, and pediatrics; helping our patients to maintain optimal health and prevent potential diseases.”
Parcare operates facilities in Borough Park, Bensonhurst, Williamsburg, East Harlem, Monroe and Bed-Stuy/Crown Heights.
BoroPark24 reported that ParCare received 3,500 doses of the Moderna vaccine on Dec. 21. The company’s CEO, Gary Schlesinger, retweeted photos of himself receiving the vaccine on Dec. 22.
“You have to be on that list,” said Schlesinger, after referencing sign-up lists ParCare has on line. “Once you are on the list, we have to vet to make sure that you are either a healthcare worker, are over 60, or have underlying conditions.