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500 children may need revaccination; Orlando doctor arrested, officials say

An Orlando, Florida, doctor has been arrested for Medicaid fraud.

The Florida Department of Health and the Office of the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit said Friday that Dr. Ishrat Sohail is accused of giving vaccines to patients with private insurance. The vaccines were intended for Medicaid patients and uninsured children as part of the Vaccines for Children Program, or VFC, officials said.

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Officials said Sohail is accused of giving patients partial doses of vaccines while billing insurance for the full amount, officials said. The partial doses also may not provide sufficient protection from potentially dangerous diseases that can be prevented with a full dose of vaccine.

The health department is working with the Agency for Health Care Administration and health insurance companies to notify all potentially affected families. At this time, it is estimated that approximately 500 children may have been affected, officials said in a news release.

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Sohail’s license to practice medicine in the state of Florida has been suspended by the state.

In 2016, the department determined that Sohail administered two vials of VFC vaccines to non-Medicaid patients and billed private insurance companies, officials said. She was suspended from the VFC program for two months. 

Read: Florida doctor facing long Medicare fraud sentence

Officials said Sohail was placed on a corrective action plan, which limited the number of doses of vaccines available to her and in January, she was found to be in noncompliance.

Any child who received a vaccine from Sohail between 2016 and 2018 should contact a new primary care provider and consider revaccination, officials said.

There is also the possibility that Sohail did not follow best practices in maintaining the sterility of the vaccines she administered.

Officials say that, if a child experienced a severe adverse reaction or infection at the injection site of any vaccine administered by Sohail or her staff, patients should contact the Epidemiology Department at the Department of Health in Orange at 407-858-1485.

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