The Philadelphia city government has ceased supplying Philly Fighting COVID (PFC) with vaccines after CEO Andrei Doroshin admitted to taking home doses and injecting four of his friends.
The Drexel University student established the company in 2020. PFC, along with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, provided free COVID-19 testing to communities with diminished access. When the vaccine became available, the city recruited PFC for its distribution.
PFC had been vaccinating members of the public for five days when Doroshin took home several doses. He justified his actions, stating that the doses were near their expiration date and his company had been unable to find anyone eligible for inoculation.
“I stand by that decision,” he told NBC10 Philadelphia. “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 believes the city government’s move to cease supplying PFC with the vaccine is politically motivated. “Philly Fighting Covid should be vaccinating thousands of people. Instead, I’m here forced to defend us against another example of Philly’s dirty power politics,” Doroshin said in a statement published on the PFC website.
In response, City Spokesperson Laura Cox stated that Doroshin’s theories were “absurd,” blaming the young CEO’s poor judgment for why the organization and the city are no longer in partnership.
PFC was established by a group of engineers and scientists who “refused to remain idle” during the pandemic. Doroshin, along with a few of his college friends, established the company and began providing 3D-printed face shields as well as other PPE to frontline health workers.
While Doroshin, a Psychology major, had zero background in medicine and public health, he worked closely with doctors and experts to formulate distribution plans for both COVID-19 testing and the vaccine once it was released.
The scandal currently surrounding the company seemingly puts its future in doubt.