NEW YORK (WWTI) — Reimbursements have been secured for COVID-19 vaccine fees in New York. On Monday, New York Attorney General Letitia James confirmed that her office secured refunds for those who were charged COVID-19 vaccine administration fees at two pharmacies.

According to AG James, Embassy Pharmacy in Manhattan and Fulton Drugs in Brooklyn both charged vaccine administration fees of $25 and $20 respectively. This affected approximately 450 customers in New York.

An investigation into this case was first launched in March of 2021, following reports from New York residents who were charged for vaccines.

The Office of the Attorney General said that while vaccination providers are permitted to seek reimbursement from a vaccine recipient’s health plan, providers are prohibited from charging a vaccine recipient directly. The OAG stated that by charging administration fees, Fulton and Embassy violated Executive Law § 63(12) and General Business Law § 349. 

“Make no mistake: COVID vaccines are free to all who seek them,” Attorney General James said in a press release. “New Yorkers should not be charged fees to receive the vaccines. If they are, my office will work to ensure they are reimbursed for the charges.” 

The agreement announced on February 7 confirmed that the pharmacies will reimburse all those charged for these fees. The pharmacies also immediately change their practices to eliminate vaccine fees for consumers.

Both Embassy and Fulton also agreed to institute new requirements to strengthen training for all staff involved inc charging these fees.

This matter was handled by Special Counsel Sara Haviva Mark and Deputy Bureau Chief Leslieann Cachola of the Health Care Bureau, under the supervision of Bureau Chief Darsana Srinivasan. The Health Care Bureau is a part of the Division for Social Justice, led by Chief Deputy Attorney General Meghan Faux and overseen by First Deputy Attorney General Jennifer Levy. 

Those who believe they were improperly charged by providers after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine are urged to contact the Office of the Attorney General’s Health Care Bureau online or call 1-800-428-9071.