Project Optimize is seeking real-life stories of how vaccine vial monitors are making an impact in the field. If you would like to share your story, please reply to this forum post.
Dont hesitate to also post photographs if you have some
Thanks in advance
After several years of being polio-free there was an unexpected case of polio in early 2004 in Srikakulam District, Andhra Pradesh, India.
I happened to be visiting at the time and in the Srikakulam District vaccine store I came across a waste basket of polio vaccine in the freezer.. (Picture attached).
The storekeeper confirmed that the vaccine in the basket was waiting to be distributed to the health centres and sub-centres for the next round of polio immunization. Some of the VVMs were clearly past Stage three. (Detail picture attached).
My Indian colleague asked for these vaccines to be discarded and not distributed for use. In some areas of the district the vaccine had to be carried long distanced on foot and risked being further damaged by heat during the trip to the health- of sub-centres where the immunization sessions would be held . (Picture attached).
(Picture of a health sub-centre in Srikakulam district attached with polio campaign publicity).
The VVM on the more heat-stable hepatitis B vaccine, however, at the same health centre was clearly still in Stage One. (Picture attached)
A picture is also attached of a rather determined looking mother and anxious child waiting for immunization in the same sub-centre. The immunization registry is in the foreground.
Back in Hyderabad, the state capital of Andhra Pradesh, the pictures of the good and expired VVMs were shown to the Commissioner of Health and Family Welfare and she ordered an urgent review of cold chain practices in Srikakulan district.
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