Philly Fighting COVID’s CEO Admits to Giving Vaccines to Friends
The CEO of the organization tasked with distributing the coronavirus vaccines throughout the city of Philadelphia has admitted that he took some doses home to inject his friends.
Andrei Doroshin, the 22-year-old CEO of the organization Philly Fighting COVID, confessed in an interview with NBC’s TODAY show that he took him doses of the Pfizer vaccine home to personally vaccinate his friends (he doesn't have official medical training himself).
The allegations surfaced after Doroshin was seen leaving the Pennsylvania Convention Center with several Pfizer vaccines on January 23. The allegations were shared by several media outlets including NBC10 and The Inquirer.
Doroshin appeared on the TODAY show Thursday to address the allegations. In that interview, he claimed the vaccines were about to expire. When asked why the vaccines were not given to individuals in a high-risk category, Doroshin says that he could not find anyone in a risk category to vaccinate.
"We called everybody we knew. Every single person," he said in the just-released interview with NBC's Stephanie Gosk.
“I stand by that decision. I understand that I made that mistake. That is my mistake to carry for the rest of my life, but it is not the mistake of the organization,” Doroshin said.
The confession comes following a slew of concerning allegations against the organization. Philadelphia’s Department of Public Health had partnered with the non-profit Philly Fighting COVID to distribute vaccines throughout the city.
The city’s decision to partner with Philly Fighting COVID was surprising since the city had other options — including several major healthcare systems headquartered in the city.
Philly Fighting COVID was responsible for all steps in the process from maintaining the appointment system to implementing the immunizations at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Center City.
The city cut ties with the organization earlier this week after discovering that they recently became a for-profit company citing privacy concerns with patient information.
Plus, they began billing insurance companies for the vaccines, which they received for free. Doroshin says that Philly Fighting COVID was not receiving enough donations to cover the costs of running their clinics.
Reporting from other outlets in the city detail the allegations against Doroshin. WHYY.org reports that Doroshin proposed his team would “get rich doing it (distributing the vaccines).” Click here to read their report.
The investigation into the city's decision to partner with the organization has just begun regarding their vetting process. A spokesperson for the city tells NBC10 that the CDC signed the direct contract with Philly Fighting COVID.