Jeanette Breen, a midwife, poses for a portrait at her...

Jeanette Breen, a midwife, poses for a portrait at her Baldwin office in 2020. The state fined her $300,000 for issuing fake vaccinations to approximately 1,500 kids. Credit: Johnny MIlano

Almost 700 Long Island students had phony vaccination records submitted to the state by the Baldwin midwife fined for faking them, the counties' health departments said Thursday.

Instead of receiving required vaccines for measles, whooping cough, diphtheria and other illnesses, Jeanette Breen owner of Baldwin Midwifery gave the students a mail-order homeopathic remedy marketed as an alternative to vaccination to approximately 1,500 kids in New York.

State health officials said students must show proof of vaccination or that they are in the process of being immunized before being allowed to attend school.

Nassau health officials on Thursday said the state informed them 397 students from the county had vaccination records from Breen's practice, while Suffolk health officials were told 273 students in the county were impacted. Suffolk said once it gets a list of students, it will help them get the necessary vaccines so they can return to school.

“Immunizations recommended by the CDC have gone through rigorous testing and are proven to be safe and effective against diseases that can cause serious harm and take lives,” Dr. Gregson Pigott, Suffolk County Health Commissioner, said in a statement. “We encourage all parents to ensure their children have received all recommended vaccines in order to protect them from serious illness.”

The state announced on Wednesday it was contacting 300 schools, and in turn they would notify parents of children who had immunization cards submitted by Breen, the state Department of Health said.

Breen faced a $300,000 fine and other sanctions from the state for submitting fake vaccination records. Half of the fine will be waived if Breen follows restrictions outlined in an agreement she signed in November. Patients came from across the state, including from as far away as Erie and Niagara, officials said.

The Nassau County District Attorney's office said Thursday it is reviewing the matter.

Breen is continuing to practice and her attorney, David M. Eskew of Manhattan, described her as a private person who does not want publicity.

“When the Department of Health informed her of an investigation, she fully cooperated, paid the fine, entered into the stipulation of settlement and now intends to fully comply with the requirements of that agreement,” Eskew told Newsday in an email Thursday. “From her perspective, this matter is over, done with, and closed and she is now moving on with her life.”

The fraud by Breen started in 2019 after the state eliminated nonmedical exemptions for required school immunizations. She administered about 12,449 fake immunizations before the state blocked her access to the reporting system in December 2022.

Vaccine policy experts have said that the geographic reach of Breen's practice indicates that word spread through anti-vaccination parent groups.

Parents and guardians who have questions about their child’s vaccination status can call the Suffolk County Health Department at (631) 854-0222 and the Nassau County Health Department at (516) 227-9416 for assistance.

Last year, the owner of an Amityville pediatric practice, Julie DeVuono, was convicted of falsifying COVID-19 vaccination records after an investigation by the Suffolk County Police Departmetnt's District Attorney Squad. The state Health Department is investigating whether she also faked certificates of immunization for other diseases.

New contractor hired for Bethpage drums ... Blue Angels on LI ... What's Up on LI Credit: Newsday

Newsday/Sienna College poll ... Avalon Bay apartments in Amityville ... JFK travel this weekend ... Summer concert preview

New contractor hired for Bethpage drums ... Blue Angels on LI ... What's Up on LI Credit: Newsday

Newsday/Sienna College poll ... Avalon Bay apartments in Amityville ... JFK travel this weekend ... Summer concert preview

Latest videos

SUBSCRIBE

Unlimited Digital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months

ACT NOWSALE ENDS SOON | CANCEL ANYTIME