U.S. & World

Orlando pediatrician arrested for only using partial vaccine doses on hundreds of children

WESH - ORLANDO, FL (WESH) - An Orlando pediatrician posted bond and has been released from jail after being accused of committing Medicaid fraud affecting hundreds of children.

The Florida Department of Health said Dr. Ishrat Sohail provided only partial vaccines to more than 500 children, but charged them in full.

The state is now saying those children might have to be vaccinated again.

Officials said children who went to Sohail's office on North Orange Avenue might not be protected against the diseases they believed they were being vaccinated for.

Sohail left the Seminole County Jail on Friday without saying a word about the charges against her.

A joint investigation conducted by the Florida Department of Health and the Office of the Attorney General led to her arrest Friday.

The emergency suspension of license order filed by the Florida Department of Health alleges that a confidential informant told the Medicaid fraud control unit that Sohail was using vaccines provided at no cost by the Vaccines for Children Program to vaccinate children with private insurance.

It goes on to say that because those vaccines are tracked by lot numbers, Sohail would, at times, administer only partial doses of the vaccine and the remaining dose in the vial would then be re-drawn at a later time and administered to another patient.

The partial dose vaccine vials would be kept in the office refrigerator between administrations.

The order says children were put at risk and that Sohail would record the proper dosage in the patient's medical records and bill insurance for the full amount.

Last week, one of Sohail's staff members called the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, reporting that Sohail planned to shred patient files related to the vaccine administration, but she never got the chance to do that.

Any parents of Sohail's patients who are concerned about vaccinations are encouraged to call the Orange County Department of Health.


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