A 22-year-old Drexel University grad student who created a startup in Philadelphia to fight the COVID pandemic has admitted that he took doses of vaccine from a site his group had been contracted to operate to inoculate his friends at a party.
Andrei Doroshin is the founder of Philly Fighting COVID, which began last year as a nonprofit project to 3D-print face shields for medical personnel. In December, he converted it into a for-profit startup and managed to get a contract with the city of Philadelphia to operate a vaccination site at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
Katrina Lipinsky, a registered nurse working at the site, told news outlets that she saw Doroshin pack up a bundle of 10-15 syringes containing pre-measured doses of the vaccine, along with CDC vaccination record cards, shortly after 7 PM this past Saturday. About an hour later, a photo showing Doroshin at a party apparently injecting someone with the vaccine appeared on Snapchat.
“It was the end of the day. We had a ton of left over Pfizer vaccines that had not been used, already drawn up in syringes. I was sort of milling about because we still had some people coming in to be vaccinated. I watched Andrei walk from the vaccination area with a plastic bag of vaccines and CDC vaccination record cards. He put it in his bag and left with another staff member,” Lipinsky said. “Before I left, I approached the chief of medical staff, a nurse practitioner, who told me — and I don’t remember his exact wording — that the PDPH [Philadelphia Department of Public Health] knew, or that they wanted us to do that, so that the extra vaccines wouldn’t be wasted. Andrei took vaccines for, I can only assume, his friends. He is not a licensed clinician. Who administered those vaccines? Who observed the patients for 15-30 minutes?”CBS Philly
Doroshin admits to taking the vaccine doses, but claims he only did so because there were many doses left over and he didn’t want them to go to waste.
“The doses were about to expire,” he said. “We called everybody we knew. Every single person.”
He admitted he was not qualified to administer vaccines.
“I am not a nurse,” he said. “I have undergone our internal certifications.” While NBC News has not reviewed Philly Fighting COVID’s internal certifications, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that all health care personnel who administer vaccines receive comprehensive, competency-based training on vaccine administration policies and procedures before administering vaccines.The Today Show
However, this contradicts reports by eyewitnesses who say there were many people turned away from the vaccination site due to a web site error that led to the center being overbooked.
“There were literally 85-year-old, 90-year-old people standing there in tears, with printed appointment confirmations, saying, ‘I don’t understand why I can’t get vaccinated, I’m 85,’” said Jillian Horn, a Callowhill resident who tried to get inoculated this weekend.WHYY
The city cut ties with Philly Fighting COVID earlier this week in the wake of the allegations, also citing suspicions that PFC was selling the personal data it collected from people signing up for testing and vaccinations.