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S D Med. 2013;Spec no:119-22.

Safe handling of vaccines: the rewards of rigorous routines.

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  • 1Sanford Health, Sioux Falls, SD, USA.


A recent report published by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) entitled Vaccines for Children Program: Vulnerabilities in Vaccine Management has brought to public awareness the need for increased attention to safe handling of vaccines. The maximum benefit of receiving vaccines for vaccine-preventable diseases can only be attained when we ensure that safe storage and handling occurs through strict adherence to the vaccine cold chain. This compliance can best be accomplished by identifying a vaccine coordinator that is intimately familiar with the components of the vaccine cold chain and provides the necessary oversight to ensure that all links in the chain are maintained. Utilization of helpful resources, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) resources related to safe handling of vaccines, is central to a well defined process for vaccine handling. This adherence provides reassurance, both to patients receiving vaccine and providers administering it, that the safest and most effective vaccine is being delivered.

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