NEW YORK - A health care network with centers in the city is being investigated for possibly obtaining the COVID-19 vaccine fraudulently.

The New York State Police and Health Department are in the early stages of an investigation into the ParCare Community Health Network. The network is based in Orange County. Its mission, according to its website, is to make health care both affordable and available to underserved communities.

The Health Department says they've received reports that ParCare has been fraudulently receiving the vaccine and giving it to members of the general public, despite the state and federal government's plan to first give the vaccine to front-line health care workers and vulnerable nursing home residents.

In a statement, the state health commissioner says the state is taking the allegations very seriously, adding in part, “Anyone found to have knowingly participated in this scheme will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”

ParCare says they have a long history of partnering with the city.

"As we actively cooperate with the New York State Department of Health on this matter, we will continue to perform top-quality healthcare services to help New York come out of this pandemic," the network said in a statement.