Vaccine rollout: NY health service provider facing probe

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on December 28, 2020

It may face criminal charges for reportedly violating programme protocols

A New York health service provider — ParCare Community Health Network — may face criminal charges for reportedly violating protocols related to the state’s rollout of the coronavirus vaccine, as per media reports.

New York state health officials are investigating whether it “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,” according to Howard Zucker, New York Health Commissioner.

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‘Cooperating with officials’

According to a New York Times report, New York-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital had given access to some hospital staff who did not belong to the high-risk community. Some hospital staff told the Times that they raised concerns internally but have not overtly spoken out as they were apprehensive of professional retaliation.

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“We take this very seriously and [the New York Department of Health] will be assisting State Police in a criminal investigation into this matter,” Zucker said of the ParCare allegations.

However, the company told Reuters that it is helping state health officials with the criminal investigation. It stated that it aims “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.”

New York state’s vaccine rollout initiative mandated that high-risk individuals, including doctors, nurses, and first responders, should be a top priority for the inoculation process.

Published on December 28, 2020

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