Doctor arrested for administering partial vaccines, Medicaid fraud

FDOH says Dr. Ishrat Sohail improperly administered vaccines

By Troy Campbell - Reporter

ORLANDO, Fla. - An Orlando doctor was arrested Friday on charges of fraud. The Florida Department of Health said on Friday that Dr. Ishrat Sohail improperly administered vaccines.

State investigators said employees of the doctor's office tipped them off.

Sohail bonded out of the Seminole County jail Friday evening, refusing to answer any of News 6's questions about the allegations.

Investigators wrote in their probable cause affidavit that Sohail was briefly suspended in 2016 from the Vaccines for Children program through Medicaid after an inspector found the doctor charged a private insurance company for the vaccine the government gave her for free.

Then last month, the state wrote, more employees came forward, alleging the doctor is not only collecting thousands of dollars from the free vaccines, but she wasn't administering the full amount of the vaccine. State health officials said by doing so, the doctor has put hundreds of children at risk for illness and disease.

The Florida Department of Health is warning that as many as 500 kids need to be re-vaccinated.

During a raid of the office last Friday, inspectors wrote that there were partially used vaccine vials in the office fridge, including vaccines to prevent Hepatitis A, HPV and whooping cough.

Investigators said an employee claims at least two patients have tested positive for the flu, but the doctor never notified them in order to not raise suspicion about falsely administered vaccine practices.

The Florida Department of Health released the following information for any patients who might be affected:

"Based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the department, if your child received vaccines from Dr. Sohail between 2016 and 2018, you should contact a new primary care provider to consider revaccination. DOH-Orange County is also available to assist with vaccination for those who have difficulty establishing care with a new provider.

"There is also the possibility that Dr. Sohail did not follow best practices in maintaining the sterility of the vaccines she administered. If your child experienced a severe adverse reaction or infection at the injection site of any vaccine administered by Dr. Sohail or her staff, please contact DOH-Orange epidemiology at 407-858-1485."

On Monday, Orange County Department of Health spokesman Kent Donahue said no one has reported any serious illness or reaction from vaccines given by Dr. Sohail.

"According to our Epidemiology division, currently there have been no reports of individuals contracting Hep A, HPV, or Pertussis after getting a vaccine from the provider," Donahue said. "EPI indicates none of the callers that have made contact with DOH-Orange have reported a serious adverse reaction or infection post-vaccination from the provider."

Still, Donahue said parents should consider getting children re-vaccinated.

Sohail's medical license has been suspended.

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