State says doctor mishandled vaccines

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MOUNT STERLING, Ky. (AP/WDKY) – The Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure says a Mount Sterling doctor allowed his unlicensed wife to mishandle vaccines, causing an infection outbreak in patients across Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports the board on Friday placed Dr. Paul E. McLaughlin on five years’ probation. He also was ordered to pay $5,000 for delegating to someone without a medical license and contributing to a public health crisis.

The vaccination provider “Location Vaccination” is owned and operated by McLaughlin’s wife, Fairshinda Sabounchi McLaughlin.

The company was hired during last year’s flu seasons to provide vaccines to adult employees in more than 20 municipalities. The state Department of Public Health first began investigating the company in February after learning its patients were experiencing pain, swelling and lumps at their injection sites.

UPDATE: McLaughlin’s attorney Tracy S. Prewitt has responded to the board’s decision and the Herald-Leader’s report. Below is her statement.

“Dr. McLaughlin has been a valued member of the medical community for many years and has always provided careful, conscientious care to his patients. His care has never been questioned in the past. While some patients reported reactions to vaccines administered by Location Vaccination, a separate entity, there has been no determination that these reactions were anything other than well-recognized side -effects associated with most vaccines. The Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure has not restricted Dr. McLaughlin’s medical license. This Agreed Order simply sets out the unproven accusations of others. Dr. McLaughlin has denied all issues related to quality of care.

The Statement in the Lexington Herald-Leader article claiming that Dr. McLaughlin said he “wasn’t really interested” about the reports about the reactions was incorrect. The reporter misquoted the Agreed Order which stated that, actually, the CDC (not Dr. McLaughlin) was not really interested in investigating the initial report made to its office regarding the reactions. Dr. McLaughlin has consistently been proactive and eager for the CDC to investigate the matter.

Kentucky law generally does not require individuals who administer vaccines to maintain licensure through any local, state, or federal agency.”

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