November 15, 2017, Lakewood, Colorado – Keeping a drug effective relies greatly on keeping it at the proper temperature, even throughout transport from manufacturer to end user. Vaccines that are exposed to temperatures outside of the acceptable range may be damaged, weakened, or destroyed.
As of right now, there is no single agency in the United States that has accountability for the safe transport of temperature-sensitive vaccines.1 There are many agencies that consider the production of the drugs, but few that are regulate the distribution of them.
A successful cold chain not only protects assets, it ensures viable vaccines to those in need of them. Other countries have taken great strides to overcome challenging cold chains, with great results. Many have implemented vial-level vaccine monitoring requirements to minimize vaccine wastage rates.
The US is no leader when it comes to protecting vaccine viability. Just last year, a clinic in New Jersey was cited by the state health commissioner for improperly refrigerating the vaccine supply, resulting in as many as 900 children potentially requiring revaccination.1