Are Doctors Improperly Storing Vaccines?


"We want them to work with the grantees and providers to make sure that they're storing vaccines properly, then put in better inventory control mechanisms so there's less inventory on hand so that creates less chances that vaccines can expire," said Dwayne Grant, the regional inspector general for the Office of Inspector General in Atlanta.

Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of CDC's National Center for Immunization for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, told ABC News the vaccination program has helped protect many children from preventable diseases, but acknowledged there was a breakdown in the vaccine management process.

"We're doing our root cause analysis right now to try and understand the key factors that lead up to these issues," she said. "There have been changes in the equipment, the refrigerators. There are many vaccines recommended now, and maybe there are more doses being stored in the average office than there used to be."

The CDC says disease rates haven't gone up because of vaccines affected by temperature problems, but they are investigating a rare whooping outbreak in the state of Washington.

What Can Parents Do?

Schuchat stressed that parents should still get their children immunized.

"I don't think this is a time for parents to ask their doctors, 'Where are the vaccines stored and can I go look at them?' I think this is a time for parents to remember that vaccines are very important and that keeping your children and yourselves up to date on vaccines is one of the best things you can do for your health," she said.

Ahlstrom, the Washington, D.C. pediatrician, also said parents shouldn't worry too much about it, but said if they are worried, they should ask questions.

"I think that it is probably good for them to address it with their doctors so that they can feel that their mind, that their mind is put at rest," Ahlstrom said.

And as a mother, Delinsky said vaccine safety is something would definitely address if she had any doubts.

"I think it would be a mistake not to check, to ask the questions and to make sure your doctor is taking those precautions. And I mean the onus is on us as the parents to make sure our child is getting what they need."

ABC News' Jim Avila, Brian Hartman and Serena Marshall contributed to this report.

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