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Amherst doctor allegedly takes COVID-19 vaccine dose home to wife, charge expected to be dismissed

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Posted at 11:13 AM, May 21, 2021

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — An Amherst doctor allegedly took a COVID-19 vaccine dose home to his wife and faces a petit larceny charge that is expected to be dropped according to the Erie County District Attorney's Office.

Officials say the 74-year-old doctor from Amherst was volunteering at a COVID-19 vaccine distribution site at Erie Community College South Campus in Hamburg on February 10, 2021 when he allegedly took a single dose of the vaccine from the site without authorization. The doctor allegedly provided the dose to his wife, who qualified to receive the vaccine under New York State guidelines at the time due to her age.

The Erie County District Attorney's Office consented to an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal at the doctor's arraignment Friday and a return court date will not be scheduled.

7 Eyewitness News is not naming the suspect because the charge against him is expected to be dismissed.

Erie County District Attorney John Flynn released the following statement regarding his decision:

This incident occurred during a period of time when there was a limited number of vaccines available to adults with certain qualifications. While it was improper, our investigation found that this doctor’s intention was to bring home a dose of the vaccine to his wife, which potentially may have gone unused before the end of the day. Under New York State guidelines at the time of the alleged incident, his wife did qualify to receive a vaccine, but he should have gone through the proper procedure to make an appointment. Today, there is an abundance of COVID-19 vaccines available and I consented to the dismissal of this case in the interest of justice.