University of North Dakota Faculty/Staff Newsletter

Student Health Services named Vaccine Storage and Handling Champion

Congratulations to Student Health Services – proven to be a Vaccine Storage and Handling Champion for the state of North Dakota!

“Your commitment to the health and well-being of our state’s children is evidenced by your clinic’s vaccine storage and handling practices,” said Molly Howell, Immunization Program manager for the ND Department of Health.

The clinic was noted for not having corrective actions needed during their 2012 Vaccines for Children site visit.

About the Visit
The Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General sampled 45 vaccination sites with the highest volume of immunizations in 2010. The objective was to determine the extent to which selected program providers and grantees adhered to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) requirements for vaccine management.

Required activities include the following categories: 1) Vaccine Storage Equipment, 2) Vaccine Storage Practices, 3) Temperature Monitoring, 4) Vaccine Storage and Handling Plans, 5) Vaccine Personnel, 6) Vaccine Waste, 7) Vaccine Security and Equipment Maintenance, 8) Vaccine Ordering and Inventory Management, 9) Receiving Vaccine Shipments, and 10) Vaccine Preparation.

The findings included: Vaccines stored by 76 percent of 45 providers were exposed to inappropriate temperatures. Sixteen of 45 had expired vaccines. None of the 45 providers met the vaccine management requirement in all 10 categories.

The CDC noted that vaccination is one of the most successful public health tools in preventing and controlling disease. Proper vaccine storage and handling is imperative in order to ensure the safety and efficacy of vaccines. Failure to store vaccines properly can lead to inadequate immune responses; repercussions for inappropriately stored vaccines can be clinically significant.

During SHS 2012 visit by the NDDoH, no violations were noted, no corrective actions were indicated.

SHS nurses review immunization records of the patient at each clinic visit. The benefit of vaccination to the client, the UND community, and public health as a whole, is known and promoted by SHS RN’s. Guidelines for storage and handling, as well as administration recommendations are regularly reviewed and revised according to CDC information. Students presenting to SHS may be assured they are receiving vaccinations that provide maximum protection from vaccine preventable diseases.

-- Erin Dickson, coordinator of communications, Health and Wellness, 777.0232,

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