Police probe possible vaccine misuse in New York

New York state police are investigating a healthcare facility over suspicion of fraudulently obtaining coronavirus vaccine and giving it to people who did not have priority to receive it.

New York state health authorities issued a statement on the allegations on Saturday.

They said a facility run by New York City-based ParCare Community Health Network may have obtained the vaccine using an illicit application form. They say the vaccine may have been diverted to the public contrary to the state's plan to administer it first to frontline healthcare workers, as well as nursing home residents and staffers.

The New York Times online edition on Sunday quoted a representative of the facility as saying that 2,300 doses of vaccine were received from the state health authorities and 850 doses were already administered in compliance with the state authorities' guidelines.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo at a news conference on Monday said the authorities will not tolerate any fraud in the vaccination process. He also said anyone engaging in fraud will be held accountable.

He said he will sign an order that violation of the state guidelines would be subject to fines of up to 1 million dollars, and that doctors and nurses would lose their licenses.