Baldwin Midwife Fined $300K for Fasifying Vaccine Records for 1,500 Kids
New York State officials stuck a Baldwin midwife with an unprecedented $300,000 fine for falsifying the vaccination records of about 1,500 children in about 300 schools across 23 counties statewide.
Jeanette Breen, a licensed midwife who operated Baldwin Midwifery, a private women’s alternative healthcare center, admitted that she gave children homeopathic pellets instead of federally approved vaccination shots. She signed a stipulation and order to settle a state Department of Health investigation in a deal in which the agency agreed not to sue her or refer the case to prosecutors.
“Misrepresenting or falsifying vaccine records puts lives in jeopardy and undermines the system that exists to protect public health,” state Health Commissioner Dr. James McDonald said.
The state health Bureau of Investigations said starting in 2019, Breen supplied patients with the “Real Immunity Homeoprophylaxis Program,” homeopathic pellets marketed as an alternative to vaccination. The oral pellets are neither authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) nor approved by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to immunize against any disease. She then submitted false information to the state Immunization Information System (NYSIIS) claiming the children had received their required vaccinations against measles, mumps, rubella, polio, chickenpox, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, hepatitis B and a host of other diseases, the department said.
Health officials in Nassau and Suffolk counties are now working to track down hundreds of students who attend school on Long Island to ensure that they get up to date with their immunizations before they can return to class.
“By intentionally falsifying immunization records for students, this licensed health care professional not only endangered the health and safety of our school communities but also undermined public trust,” said State Education Commissioner Betty Rosa, whose department licenses midwives.
“Immunizations recommended by the CDC have gone through rigorous testing and are proven to be safe and effective against diseases that can cause serious harm and take lives,” said Suffolk County Health Commissioner Dr. Gregson Pigott, who noted that 273 students from Suffolk were effected. “We encourage all parents to ensure their children have received all recommended vaccines in order to protect them from serious illness.”
Nassau Health Commissioner Dr. Irina Gelman called the case “deeply concerning,” but did not share the exact number of students involved in that county.
Breen’s settlement with the state bans her from administering vaccinations that must be reported to NYSIIS, which she is permanently excluded from accessing. State health officials deleted all false immunization information that Breen submitted to NYSIIS and is alerting the families of affected children that their child’s records of vaccinations are no longer valid and their children will need to receive all age-appropriate vaccinations so that they may return to school, unless they have a medical exemption.
Breen’s lawyer said Thursday that his client cooperated with investigators, paid her fine and intends to comply with all other requirements of her agreement with health officials.
“Suffice it to say, Ms. Breen has provided excellent midwifery services for many years to many families, especially on Long Island. She is now toward the end of her career,” David Eskew wrote in an emailed statement. “From her perspective, this matter is over, done with, and closed and she is now moving on with her life.”
-With Associated Press