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COVID Exemptions for Sale

A multi-part KING 5 investigation revealed an Ellensburg doctor repeatedly signed and sold COVID-19 vaccine and mask exemptions without medical justification.
Credit: KING 5
Dr. Anna Elperin signs COVID-19 vaccine and mask exemption forms for undercover journalists during two October office visits at her Ellensburg medical practice, Awake Health.

"COVID Exemptions for Sale" is a multi-part undercover KING 5 investigation that revealed an Ellensburg osteopathic physician repeatedly signed and sold COVID-19 vaccine and mask exemptions to residents across the state without asking medical questions or conducting a medical exam. 

PART 1 

Nov. 22, 2021: Exemptions for sale: How a central Washington doctor helped workers dodge vaccine mandate 

A KING 5 investigation found Dr. Anna Elperin wrote COVID-19 exemptions for patients who did not provide a legitimate medical reason to receive one, including people who sought to evade local and state pandemic-related mandates. 

Charging each patient from $150 to $200 for the forms, Elperin potentially raked in tens of thousands of dollars from medical exemption sales a month and profited from state, local and private company policies intended to reduce the spread of coronavirus.   

Credit: KING 5
A KING 5 hidden camera captures Dr. Anna Elperin, owner of Awake Health, signing COVID-19 vaccine and mask exemptions for an undercover journalist on Oct. 29, 2021 in Ellensburg.

Part 2

Dec. 16, 2021: Most Washington healthcare workers with COVID-19 allegations aren't disciplined 

As public and private workers across the state bypass workplace COVID-19 vaccination mandates with medical exemptions signed by a doctor, the state of Washington fails to identify doctors who issue an excessive number of those vaccine waivers without legitimate medical reasons, a KING 5 investigation found.

Part 3 

Dec. 29, 2021: Ellensburg doctor restricted from issuing COVID-19 vaccine exemptions after KING 5 investigation 

An Ellensburg physician, who was at the center of a KING 5 investigation for selling COVID-19 vaccine exemptions without medical justification, has been restricted from issuing the medical vaccine waivers, according to the Washington State Department of Health (DOH).  

Credit: KING
A KING 5 hidden camera captures Dr. Anna Elperin signing COVID-19 vaccine and mask exemptions for an undercover journalist on Oct. 18, 2021.

Part 4 

Jan. 3, 2021: State fines Ellensburg doctor for COVID-19 mask violations after KING 5 investigation 

State regulators have fined an Ellensburg doctor $30,000 for failing to require employees and patients at her medical clinic, Awake Health, to wear masks.  

The penalty comes after a Nov. 24 inspection by state regulators. That day, the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries began a review of Awake Health in response to the KING 5 story, which showed video of Elperin and her employees walking around the medical practice unmasked.

Credit: KING
Dr. Anna Elperin is the owner of Awake Health, a functional medicine practice in Ellensburg, Washington.