Study finds improperly stored vaccines may be putting children at risk
POSTED: Monday, June 11, 2012 - 8:00am
UPDATED: Monday, June 11, 2012 - 8:01am
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — An investigation by the Department of Health and Human Services shows some clinics providing immunization vaccines are not storing them at the required temperatures.
That mistake can render the vaccines ineffective and put children at risk for contracting the diseases they thought they were protected against.
Report findings identified 76 percent of the selected vaccine providers had stored their vaccines to inappropriate temperatures for at least five cumulative hours.
The report also found that 13 of the 45 providers inspected had stored vaccines that had expired alongside those that were current.
The providers in the study all participated in the Vaccines for Children program.
Foothill Community Health Center in San Jose, California participates in that program but was not part of the report.
The clinic has established several safeguards to prevent any problems with vaccine storage.
The refrigerator is kept at a precise temperature and an alarm sounds if that changes.
In addition two people are assigned to check the temperature and log it daily.
Silicon Valley Pediatricians also has alarms and employees assigned to log and monitor the refrigerator.
There is a separate freezer for vaccines that require colder temperatures.
Dr. Claire Del Signore encourages parents to ask questions before their child receives a shot.
"Parents have a right to know that their doctor's office is maintaining proper storage of vaccines and keeping a log of the temperatures every day. Parents can even ask to see where we store our vaccines" says Dr. Del Signore.