Vaccines for Children (VFC) is a federally funded program that provides no-cost vaccines to providers for children who might not otherwise be vaccinated because of inability to pay. The Section 317 program is a discretionary federal grant program which provides vaccines to providers for underinsured children and adolescents not served by the VFC program. As funding permits 317 funds can also support vaccine for uninsured and underinsured adults. Both programs depend on the safe transport and storage of vaccines; sensitive biologicals that require very specific storage conditions. To protect this federal investment, participating VFC/317 clinics are required to check and record their vaccine storage temperatures at least twice a day. In 2007 the Oregon Immunization Program (with approval by CDC) initiated an enhanced temperature tracking requirement. This requirement states that Oregon VFC/317 clinics will: “Use calibrated and NIST or ASTM certified continuous-tracking thermometers or other OIP-approved devices in both refrigerator and freezer units used to store VFC vaccines.” -Oregon Provider Agreement The Oregon Immunization Program believes this requirement has allowed for far greater accuracy in determining vaccine viability post-temperature excursion and, ultimately, has prevented federally-funded vaccine wastage. Setting: Population: Project Description: Results/Lessons Learned:
Setting:Oregon Immunization Program (OIP), Oregon VFC/317 Vaccine Providers
Population:Oregon residents or visitors that receive VFC and 317 funded vaccinations
Project Description:Starting in 2007, all Oregon VFC and 317 participating clinics were required to comply with an enhanced temperature tracking requirement. This requirement states that participating clinics will: “Use calibrated and NIST or ASTM certified continuous-tracking thermometers or other OIP-approved devices in both refrigerator and freezer units used to store VFC/317 vaccines.”
Results/Lessons Learned:Oregon VFC and 317 funded vaccines are subject to a higher standard of temperature monitoring, allowing for a more precise assessment of vaccine viability post-temperature excursion. This has preserved federally funded doses that would have otherwise been considered non-viable and saved considerable taxpayer dollars.