The AP reported today that children in several cities have been called back for repeat vaccination after being administered shots using vaccines that have not been maintained at a temperature to prevent spoilage. Inadequate refrigeration can cause vaccines to lose potency. The AP story describes thousands of children requiring re-immunization in several states over the past few years.
An organization called PATH has solved this problem for third world countries. For the past 10 years they have been using a vial monitor sticker about the size of a dime that adheres to the vaccine vial and changes color as the vaccine is exposed to heat. The color alerts the health-care worker if the vaccine is not safe to use for immunizations. PATH worked with WHO and TEMPTIME Corportion to develop the the monitors called (HEATmarker – TM) which are printed on the vaccine vial labels and add only a few cents to the price of the vial. These monitors have saved immunization programs world wide, millions of dollars .
If PATH can solve the problem in remote villages with sporadic electricity in Ghana, we should be able to do as well in the US.