health

CDC vaccines were exposed to improper temperatures and stored with expired doses, government says

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted June 18, 2012

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Free childhood vaccines provided by the U.S. government may be less effective because of poor storage practices, said a June report by the Dept. of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General.

The study found that of 45 facilities studied, the majority of vaccines kept as part of the Centers for Disease Control and Preventionís Vaccines for Children program were exposed to improper temperatures. The program provides free vaccines to eligible children through 44,000 facilities.

The OIG analysis also found that 13 of the 45 facilities stored expired vaccines with nonexpired vaccines, increasing the risk of administering an expired vaccine. In addition, the majority did not maintain the required documentation for vaccines (link).

The OIG recommends that the CDC work to ensure that the vaccines are stored properly and that expired vaccines are separated from nonexpired vaccines.

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2012/06/18/hlbf0618.htm.

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