The coronavirus vaccine has finally arrived in New York, but only a group of at-risk people are about to receive it in the first round.
Those restrictions have not stopped others from trying to get the vaccine, including unauthorized health care workers in some hospitals. Now the state is investigating whether a network of health clinics in New York provided vaccinations to members of the public who were not members of state-priority groups – the most at-risk health care workers and nursing home residents and employees .
On Saturday, New York State Health Commissioner, Drs. Howard Zucker announced an investigation into the clinics, stating that “the Kovid-19 vaccine could be obtained by deception, it was transferred to facilities in other parts of the state in violation of state guidelines, and was passed on to the public.” Sent to the members. “
“We take this very seriously, and the DOH will assist the state police in a criminal investigation into the case.”
The clinics are run by the ParCare Community Health Network, which has locations in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Kirias Joel, a village in the city’s northwest. The investigation was first reported by The New York Post on Saturday.
Many of ParCare’s patients are Orthodox Jews, a population hardened by the virus, and clinics have worked with the city to provide free coronavirus testing in largely conservative neighborhoods.
ParCare retweeted a photo of an old rabbi receiving the vaccine from his Twitter account, and by the Rabbinical Alliance of America. Shared a photo on twitter Claimed to show Gary Slessinger, chief executive of ParCare, who received the vaccine.
The posts have since been removed, but a ParCare representative confirmed that Mr. Slesinger had received the vaccine because she works in clinics every day.
Parkere’s representative said in an email statement that the company followed all procedures from the state Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to obtain and distribute modern coronavirus vaccines, and the clinics returned their vaccines to the department. for inspection.
He showed a reporter a packing slip and an email showing that the Health Department had sent 2,300 doses of the vaccine to Pares.
More than 850 were administered, he said.
“We believe the end result of that review will show that Parare does its best to comply with all NYSDOH requirements at all times and continues to achieve our number one goal of providing these important vaccines to New Yorkers.” Will keep. Most, ”the statement said.
Vaccine advertisements appeared ParCare’s Twitter Feed On December 16, two days after the Pfizer vaccine was administered for the first time in New York. The advertisement stated that “vaccines will be made available on a first-come-first-served basis” and asked patients to register through a website or by scanning the QR code.
The advertisement also states that the Food and Drug Administration has authorized ParCare to administer the vaccine, but Gov. The administration of Andrew M. Cuomo is in charge of distributing the vaccine in the state. Some health clinics in the state have received the vaccine, but they are yet to administer it to people outside of priority groups.
Members of the Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn have protested government restrictions on religious ceremonies to reduce the spread of the virus, and footage of crowded Orthodox weddings and funerals have appeared on social media.
Orthodox Jewish and Catholic institutions filed a lawsuit against Mr. Cuomo that ended in November with a US Supreme Court ruling that the governor’s coronavirus restrictions on the size of religious services violated the First Amendment’s protection of freedom of religion Was.
At the time, Mr. Cuomo said the decision “has no practical effect” because coronovirus cases had declined in many areas where the regulations were in force. Now that positive test results in New York are not reaching levels beyond the spring, the ruling may prove more relevant.