Vaccine Safety – Spoilage

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.

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3 Responses to Vaccine Safety – Spoilage

  1. Cliff says:

    Who should you contact at the FDA to follow up on this great idea?

  2. suelove says:

    CDC is not a regulatory agency. FDA is the regulatory agency for vaccines.

  3. mike says:

    interesting. people in economics and sociology love these examples, sometimes they call them “leapfrogging”

    Leapfrogging is a theory of development in which developing countries skip inferior, less efficient, more expensive or more polluting technologies and industries and move directly to more advanced ones.

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