A midwife in New York has been fined $300,000 for administering homeopathic pellets to 1,500 children instead of essential vaccinations for diseases such as measles, hepatitis, and polio, according to NBC News.
The state’s Department of Health announced the development on Wednesday, noting that the penalty was part of a “Stipulation and Order signed by a Nassau County midwife who created false immunization records.”
Immunizations are not optional for parents who wish to enroll their child in a public school.
It appears Jeanette Breen has entered 12,500 false vaccine reports in New York’s Immunization Information System since 2019. The department noted that this is the first scheme of its kind to create false immunization records. Essential vaccines are generally used to keep children safe from otherwise dangerous diseases and illnesses.
The pellets Breen gave the children were not approved by the Food and Drug Administration, and they were administered orally. The pellets were also supplied from an out-of-state homeopath, according to the department.
Breen said she had no comment on the case. However, her attorney David Ekew wrote in an email obtained by NBC News that Breen had been informed of the investigation and was cooperating.
“She paid the fine, entered into the stipulation of settlement and intends to fully comply with the requirements of the agreement. From her perspective, this matter is over, done with, and closed and she is now moving on with her life,” Ekew said.
The children who received the pellets ranged in age from 4 to 18, and they were spread out across 300 different schools. None of the false vaccine entries were for COVID-19, according to the report.
Dr. Arthur Caplan — the head of the division of medical ethics at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine — said he had heard of Breen before the development came to light because there were people in Facebook groups who discussed ways to dodge public school vaccination requirements.
“I saw people saying, ‘If you want to avoid a vaccination but still be able to send your kids to school, go here,'” Caplan said. “She put so many people at risk for communicable diseases by lying.”
“She has been found guilty and fined a huge amount for lying and promoting quackery so her license should go,” he added. “She’s dishonest and putting innocent people at risk.”
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