ParCare Community Health Network, which operates clinics in Boro Park, Bensonhurst, and Williamsburg, is under investigation by the New York State Dept. of Health on suspicion that it violated state guidelines for distribution of COVID-19 vaccine, Health Commissioner Howard Zucker announced Saturday.
Commissioner Zucker said in a statement that ParCare Community Health Network “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.”
In late October, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a partnership with ParCare to help make rapid coronavirus testing available throughout Borough Park and Williamsburg.
The State DOH did not say how many vaccines were suspected of being obtained by ParCare by skipping frontline healthcare workers.
“We take this very seriously and DOH will be assisting State Police in a criminal investigation into this matter,” Zucker said on Saturday, adding, “Anyone found to have knowingly participated in this scheme will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”
On December 21, BoroPark24 quoted ParCare CEO Gary Schlesinger as saying, “Hundreds of patients were already vaccinated today, and people are still coming in.” The website also reported that “while frontline healthcare workers and nursing home residents and staffs begin to get vaccinated all over New York City, and other urgent care providers eagerly await shipments of COVID vaccines, the ParCare Community Health Network clinic that is located on 4714 16th Ave. received 700 Moderna vaccines at 6 AM to administer to anyone who is a healthcare worker, older than the age of 60, or who has underlying medical conditions.”
The website added (ParCare Community Health Network Receives 3,500 Moderna Vaccines Today, Vaccinates 500 Patients): “Boro Park residents, or anyone who lives near any of ParCare’s five other locations, which received the balance of the 2800 vaccines, can sign up for the vaccines at parcarevaccine.com. ParCare also has locations in Williamsburg, Crown Heights, Bensonhurst, East Harlem, and a sixth clinic in Kiryas Joel.”
— Boro Park 24 News (@BoroPark24) December 22, 2020
ParCare issued a statement saying: “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.”
On December 21, ParCare posted this tweet:
ONE SMALL INJECTION CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE FOR THE ENTIRE COMMUNITY! our @ParCare Centers received thousands of #COVID19 #Moderna #vaccines this morning. Thanks to @UPS and our dedicated staff who woke up early to receive this lifesaving shipment #healthcareheroes pic.twitter.com/LVq0TKROKf
— ParCare Medical Cntr (@ParCare) December 21, 2020