Nurse Practitioner Fined $55K For Faking Vaccine Records of 100+ Kids

3 Min Read Published May 8, 2024
Nurse Practitioner Fined $55K For Faking Vaccine Records of 100+ Kids

Nurse practitioner, Sandra Miceli, faces a hefty fine of $55,000 for pediatric vaccine falsification following an investigation by the New York Department of Health. The investigation uncovered her involvement in a fraudulent vaccination scheme that violated the Immunization Registry Law. This scheme affected over 100 children statewide, including those in Albany County.

About The Scheme

Miceli, who owns the wellness clinic Surviving Naturally, devised the scheme in response to the elimination of non-medical vaccine exemptions for school-aged children in New York, a legislative change she vehemently opposed, as stated by the Health Department’s Bureau of Investigations.

The investigation disclosed Miceli's history of promoting anti-vaccine sentiments since 2014 on her wellness center’s social media platforms. Her posts propagated unsubstantiated claims linking vaccines to autism, miscarriages, and cancer, alongside unfounded allegations associating vaccine manufacturing with Nazi connections.

By June 2019, merely a week after the new law took effect, Miceli enrolled her wellness center, Surviving Naturally, into the New York State Immunization Information System database. Subsequently, she submitted falsified vaccination records from 2019 to 2021 for 116 children, primarily in Monroe County, with some residing in Albany and Richmond counties.
The falsified records included claims of administering over 500 vaccines to children and falsely attributing vaccinations to other providers when no vaccinations had occurred.

Before returning to school or day care, all children who are either unvaccinated or under-vaccinated must either be fully up to date with age-appropriate immunizations or in the process of receiving any missing vaccinations.

About The Penalty

The Health Department deemed Miceli’s actions a violation of public health law, demanding a $30,000 payment within ten days. Compliance with state health regulations would exempt her from the remaining $25,000 of the original penalty. Additionally, she is barred from the statewide vaccination database and administering reportable vaccines.

State Health Commissioner Dr. James McDonald released the following statement, 
"Falsifying school-aged children's vaccine records endangers both the child and their peers, as vaccination is the best protection against preventable disease. Furthermore, this is an example of how the spread of vaccine misinformation undermines the entire system that exists to protect the public's health. The New York State Department of Health will continue to investigate those who falsify vaccine records and use all available enforcement tools against those who have been found to have committed such violations."

State Health Department Director of Investigations Joseph Giovannetti said the following in a statement
“Like any other fraudster, Miceli promulgated and profited from disinformation as part of her illicit scheme. What makes vaccination fraud like hers especially pernicious, however, is the danger it poses to the physical health of our communities and their most vulnerable members—the young, old, and infirm. The Bureau of Investigations will continue to investigate and bring enforcement action against anyone who threatens community health and abuses the public health system through such selfish and patently illegal misconduct."

As a component of the settlement, Miceli has remitted $30,000 of the $55,000 monetary penalty. The remaining sum is suspended on the condition that Miceli achieves and upholds full compliance with the Public Health Law, relevant regulations, and all stipulations outlined in the agreement, which encompass the following:

  • Permanent exclusion from the New York State Immunization Information System (NYSIIS), both directly or through anyone acting on her behalf.
  • Permanent prohibition from administering any immunization that must be reported to NYSIIS.
  • Prohibition from participating in any scheme or attempt to misrepresent any individual as having received immunization that the individual in fact has not received.

Commitment to Investigating Vaccine Falsification

The Health Department affirmed its commitment to investigate vaccine record falsification and utilize all available enforcement measures against offenders. The State Education Department, responsible for licensing nurses, may also take disciplinary action against Miceli, although any such investigations remain confidential.
Efforts are underway to notify parents and guardians of affected children, urging them to ensure their children receive proper vaccinations before returning to school.

Angelina Walker
Angelina Walker
Director of Nursing Content and Social Media

Angelina has her finger on the pulse of everything nursing. Whether it's a trending news topic, valuable resource or, heartfelt story, Angelina is an expert at producing content that nurses love to read. She specializes in warmly engaging with the nursing community and exponentially growing our social presence.

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