New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday he intends to make it a crime in the state to administer a COVID-19 vaccine to anyone trying to skip their place in line, or to sell them the vaccine.
He also said anyone who misrepresents who they are, or administers the drug to an ineligible person, should lose their license as well as face criminal charges, CNN reported.
"This vaccine can be like gold to some people," Cuomo said. "And if there's any fraud in the distribution — you're letting people get ahead of other people, or friends, or family, or they're selling the vaccine — you'll lose your license. But I do believe it should be criminal and I'm going to propose a law to that effect."
Last week, New York-based ParCare Community Health Network was accused by State Health Commissioner Howard Zucker of acting "contrary to the state's plan to administer it first to frontline healthcare workers, as well as nursing home residents and staffers."
ParCare said it followed state guidelines and will cooperate with a state investigation.
Cuomo on Monday also attacked the slow rate some facilities have been administering vaccines, warning they may not receive more if they have not used their allotment by the end of the week, and might be fined.
Some hospitals in the state have given 99% of their allotment, while others have only distributed 15%, he said.
"We want to get through the healthcare workers, so we can get to the next tranche, which are the police and the bus drivers and the train operators and people with comorbidities and older people who are most vulnerable," he said.
The slow rollout has been a nationwide issue, with Joe Biden vowing to tackle the issue once in office.
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