Rochester, N.Y. – “It's not very comforting though, to be honest with you,” mom Kristi Torregrossa said.
Torregrossa is reacting to an ABC News recent report of improperly stored vaccines.
An investigation by the Centers for Disease Control found that medical facilities that are part of the Federal Vaccine For Children Program had serious violations in how they stored their drugs.
Seventy five percent of the doctors’ offices checked by inspectors had been storing their vaccines at temperatures that were too hot or too cold. The same percentage had damaged goods in their refrigerators, and doses that had expired.
The recent news raises serious concerns about the effectiveness of vaccines for childhood diseases, especially for parents already skeptical of vaccines.
A reason why Torregrossa says she already spaces out her daughter's vaccines.
“I don't feel like children should have a ton of shots every visit,” Torregrossa said.
“I think in the last several years there are more questions about vaccines,” Pediatrician Dr. Correne Wirt says.
Dr. Wirt stands by the effectiveness of vaccinations.
ABC investigated Federal Vaccine for Children Programs, which serve people on Medicaid and other programs for the uninsured.
Dr. Wirt says New York State is vigorous, making sure vaccines are not stored too warm or too cold using, temperature logs, even during travel.
“We know that if the vaccine was out of range during transit, we call the manufacturer,” Dr. Wirt said.
Thermometers and log sheets are kept on the fridge and freezer.
If there's a spike or dip, the doctor's office is alerted.
Nurses check storage logs twice a day, and check the expiration dates of vaccines every week.
Doctors assure parents diseases are far worse than the vaccine and encourage parents to do research and communicate.
“In our home we do our best to do the proper research and we trust our pediatricians office immensely, we do the proper precautions and ask the right questions,” said one parent.
Dr. Wirt says most pediatricians in our area are carrying state based vaccines.
That means New York State inspects doctors offices once a year to make sure vaccines are stored properly.
Dr. Wirt also adds that her office's manufacturer knows their business hours so vaccines are never sent when they're not there.
Below is a statement from the Monroe County Health Department on their guidelines for vaccine storage.
Pediatric Office Vaccine Storage Reviews:
The County Health Department works with pediatric offices to ensure that vaccines are being stored properly by making site visits and monitoring temperature logs and checking vaccine storage facilities, and works with them to ensure that correct processes are in place to do this. If there is a negative report, MCDPH staff notifies the NYSDOH for follow-up. The NYSDOH may suspend vaccine ordering privileges for providers if there are questions about the integrity of their vaccine storage practices.
Some provider offices maintain a generator for back-up power for their vaccine refrigerators. If there is power failure or equipment failure, pediatric offices (particularly those associated with a group), work together to store vaccine for each other.
The NYSDOH is responsible for ensuring safe vaccine storage.
Vaccine for Children Program:
For this Vaccine For Children Program, a daily temperature log is made where actual temperature is recorded morning and afternoon.
A monthly inventory report is submitted to the NYSDOH which includes statistics on waste/loss, expired vaccine, and the number of doses administered. The report also requires the preparer to look at the temperature log in order to report the high and low temperatures for the month.
What we do at the MCDPH:
We maintain vaccines in refrigerators that are alarmed. The alarms are triggered to go off before the vaccine reaches an unsafe temperature. We have protocols in place to move the vaccines if there is a refrigerator failure.