New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said the health care provider may have transferred the vaccines to facilities in other areas of the state in violation of state protocols.
The provider, Zucker said, administered the vaccines 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.”
The New York Department of Health has backed the state police in launching a criminal probe into the issue.
New York has already begun injecting Covid-19 vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna to healthcare workers and members of vulnerable sectors.
The rollout, however, has been slow. Governor Cuomo urged New York hospitals to administer the vaccine faster.
The governor said hospitals will face fines of up to $100,000 if they fail to administer their allocations of COVID-19 vaccines by the end of this week.
“You have the allocation, we want it in people’s arms as soon as possible,” Cuomo said. “We’ll use other hospitals who can administer it better.”