Abstract: Vaccine Loss: Implementing NEW Guidelines for Vaccine Storage and HANDLING (43rd National Immunization Conference (NIC))

28 Vaccine Loss: Implementing NEW Guidelines for Vaccine Storage and HANDLING

Monday, March 30, 2009: 3:50 PM
Lone Star Ballroom C3
Daniela Dominguez
Melanie Barr
Bethany Lorca

In 2007, Los Angeles County (LAC) healthcare providers (VFC and Public/Non-profit) lost a significant amount of vaccine due to poor storage and handling practices. Ninety-five percent of the losses could have been prevented. The LAC Immunization Program (LACIP) requires all Public/Non-profit providers who are monitored by the program meet vaccine storage and handling guidelines to ensure the potency of the vaccine. Improper vaccine storage and handling practices reduce the potency of vaccine, resulting in, inadequate protection against vaccine-preventable diseases (VPD). The high costs of vaccines and increasing amounts of VPD make these incidents a public health emergency.

220 providers in LAC.

Public and non-profit providers in LAC.

Project Description:
LACIP surveyed 220 providers in LAC to determine their knowledge regarding vaccine storage and handling practices. Providers were asked about their emergency protocol and what actions should be taken to protect the vaccine. Providers were also asked what type of storage unit they had and what type of thermometer they used. Results of the survey revealed that most providers were aware of their vaccine storage and handling policy, but according to 2007 vaccine loss data many of the vaccine loses were due to non-adherence demonstrating that while most providers say they have a protocol for storage and handling emergencies, they failed to adhere to their protocol.

Results/Lessons Learned:
New and more stringent guidelines and training are needed to improve storage and handling practices. Storage and handling trainings are being added to our AFIX interventions and new provider orientations. Providers not adhering to their storage and handling protocols will be required to complete an on-line storage and handling training before they can receive replacement vaccine.