Reuters reports that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have issued a warning telling people that some vaccines for children might have been improperly stored. The statement which was released on Wednesday is primarily related to those vaccines that are supposed to be administered for free.
Numerous children were supposed to be vaccinated for free thanks to a recent U.S. government program. Unfortunately, the Food and Drug Administration claims that many of these vaccines are no longer effective as they might have been improperly stored.
According to the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) in the Department of Health and Human Services, valid and expired vaccines have been stored together in doctors’ offices and clinics and now it is impossible to distinguish the good ones from the bad ones. As a consequence, some children may be injected with ineffective vaccines if doctors don’t pay attention.
The discoveries that researchers have made could be valid for expensive immunizations, as well. The verified clinics offer vaccines for both low-income and insured children; therefore, all the immunizations might have been altered due to the improper storage. Holly Williams, a program analyst in the OIG’s office responded, however, that doctors are aware that vaccines which are exposed to temperatures that are too warm or too cold will no longer be effective. She reassured everyone that the vaccines are still effective and could be safely used.
The OIG visited the clinics which ordered the largest number of vaccines in 2010. The 45 medical practices are located in California, Florida, Georgia, New York City and Texas. Tests have shown that 76 percent of the clinics have stored the vaccines at the wrong temperature for at least five hours in the last two weeks. 13 out of the 45 clinics kept the expired and the unexpired vaccines in the same place.
The U.S. government program has been funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in order to give low-income children the possibility to get free immunization. In 2010, 40 million children received shots during the Vaccines for Children program which cost $3.6 billion.