A doctor in Orlando, Florida, has been arrested and charged with vaccine fraud, with her malpractice placing hundreds of children at risk.
According to a statement from the Florida Department of Health, parents who had their children vaccinated by the arrested doctor should consult with another physician. The department is working with the Agency for Health Care Administration and health plans to send notifications to all the families potentially affected by the situation.
Orlando Doctor Places 500 Children At Risk
A joint investigation between the Florida Department of Health and the Office of the Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit resulted in the arrest of Dr. Ishrat Sohail, a pediatrician practicing in Florida, for fraud.
It was first discovered that Dr. Sohail administered Vaccines for Children Program vaccines, intended for Medicaid and uninsured children, to patients covered by private insurance. A raid on her office revealed that Dr. Sohail may have also administered only partial vaccine doses to children but billed insurance companies the cost of a full dose. There is also the possibility that the doctor did not follow the medical standards to maintain the sterility of the vaccines.
Partial doses will not provide the necessary protection from the diseases that the vaccine is supposed to protect the children from, and unsterile vaccination may result in severe adverse reactions or infections. The Florida Department of Health estimated that Dr. Sohail's fraudulent activities have placed 500 children at risk.
Dr. Sohail was released from jail on bond, but her medical license in Florida has been suspended due to her alleged malpractice. Based on recommendations provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the department suggested parents who had their children vaccinated by Dr. Sohail from 2016 to 2018 contact a new physician. The parents may want to consider revaccination to ensure that their children are protected.
The Importance Of Vaccination
The malpractice of Dr. Sohail should not undermine the importance of vaccination. Flu vaccination remains the best option for defense against the flu, which has already tallied 63 pediatric deaths as of Feb. 3. HPV vaccination may help prevent cancer caused by the human papillomavirus, but most of the teens in the United States have not availed of it.
There are other advancements in the field of vaccination that will hopefully help in the fight against cancer in the near future. A report from earlier this month revealed an experimental new cancer vaccine that eliminated all traces of cancer in animals, while another experimental vaccine may be used to train the body's immune system to prevent the development of tumors.