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Climate Change, Power Outages, and Vaccines—Oh No!


Immunization Awareness Month

Climate Change, Power Outages, and Vaccines -- Uh Oh! Image Terry Brenneman, MD

Terry Brenneman, MD

As clinicians continue to add new vaccines to their office supply, vaccine refrigerators may contain tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of products and that's especially true as we move into flu season.

As weather extremes of all varieties seem to be accelerating, power outages may become more common and last longer. Tornadoes seem to be popping up in atypical locations. Hurricanes are a major seasonal worry all along the east coast not just in the southeast anymore. The west coast has its earthquakes and forest fires. The country's electrical grid is an easy target for terrorists. Is your office prepared for a prolonged power outage? As we all know all too well, vaccine effectiveness depends on maintaining the “cold chain.”

“Why worry about it. I'm covered by my business insurance,” you might offer. Can you answer this question?

Question 1. Which of the following statements is true?

Question 2: What do you do if you do have a temperature excursion out of the recommended range by 5oF for, let's say, a 12-hour period?

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