A Nassau County midwife has been fined $300,000 for creating false vaccination records for about 1,500 school-age children across New York state.
The vaccine scheme began at the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year, three months after non-medical exemptions for required school vaccinations were eliminated in June 2019, according to a news release from the New York State Department of Health on Wednesday.
The health department statement said Janet Breen, a licensed midwife who runs Baldwin Midwifery, provided the children with a series of homeopathic oral pellets instead of required vaccinations, then falsified their immunization records.
The pellets, which are touted as an alternative to vaccination, “are not authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and have not been approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or the Department of Health” as an immunization, according to the release.
Officials said Breen administered the pellets as an alternative to vaccines against diphtheria, hepatitis C, measles, mumps, polio, rubella and other diseases.
“Brain was found to have administered 12,449 false vaccinations to approximately 1,500 school-age patients as a pretext for submitting false information to the New York State Immunization Information System (NYSIIS),” the statement read.
CNN has reached out to Brin for comment.
According to the statement, the scheme, which involved children from all over the state, most of them from Long Island, resulted in their immunization cards being invalidated.
“All affected children must be fully up-to-date on all age-appropriate vaccinations, or be in the process of receiving missed vaccinations, before they can return to school,” the statement read.
Breen paid $150,000 of the agreed upon $300,000 fine. The agreement requires that Brain “never again administer a reportable vaccination” to New York State’s Immunization Information System, and that she be permanently excluded from access to it, according to the statement.
The remainder of the fine will be suspended if Breen adheres to certain conditions, including refraining from administering immunizations and not participating in any scheme or attempting to misrepresent immunization records, the statement said.
The New York State Department of Education, which licenses midwives, “has the authority to pursue professional misconduct charges against Breen’s license,” according to the statement.
“By intentionally falsifying students’ vaccination records, this licensed health care professional not only put the health and safety of our school communities at risk, but also undermined public trust,” state Education Commissioner Betty Rosa said in the statement.
State Health Commissioner Dr. James McDonald added that distorting and falsifying vaccine records “puts people’s lives at risk.”
“Let it be clear that the New York State Department of Health takes this issue very seriously and will investigate and use all enforcement tools at its disposal against those found to have committed such violations,” McDonald said.