CHICAGO -- The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) appreciates the report from the Office of the Inspector General on the management of vaccines in the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program. The report highlights areas for improvement in the storage and handling of childhood vaccines by physician offices and public health clinics.
The AAP believes that vaccines are one of the most important public health advances of modern times and remains committed to ensuring that vaccines are delivered safely. Parents should note that, despite variations in temperatures reported, vaccines were not found to be unsafe, and revaccination of children is not needed.
“The AAP supports the thousands of pediatricians who undertake the complex process of immunizing children effectively every day against potentially deadly infectious diseases,” said Robert W. Block, MD, FAAP, president of the AAP. “This government report shows areas where additional education and resources are needed. The Academy calls for improved resources and funding for the VFC program to support the necessary technology and infrastructure for physician offices so that the program is able to deliver needed immunizations to all eligible children.”
Specifically, the Academy looks forward to working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to identify appropriate equipment and monitoring devices, provide additional training to office staff monitoring vaccine stock, examine areas for improved efficiencies in regulatory reporting, and ensure that practices have ongoing access to the fiscal resources they need to implement necessary changes.
The AAP encourages all practices to continue monitoring vaccine storage and handling according to VFC guidelines and, where necessary, to take steps to regain compliance with those guidelines. This will ensure continued safety and efficacy of the vaccine supply and protection of children against dangerous diseases.
The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 60,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit www.aap.org.