What Is The Scope Of The Problem?
The current data suggests that improper temperature management of vaccines in primary care clinics (Internal Medicine, Pediatrics and Family Practice) represents a major source of "gaps" in the cold chain. A report in June 2012 by the Office of the Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services found that 76 percent of the clinics examined stored their vaccines at temperatures that were either too warm or too cold! Other papers have traced outbreaks of pertussis directly to clinics and their inappropriate storage of vaccines. Our own experience shows that 60% of lab-call clients (clinic and pharmacy) have a refrigerated environment that is not functioning within the specifications defined by the CDC. We know this because we check every client site every day and if appropriate, make recommendations to bring the refrigerated environment back into compliance.