Vaccine Shipments for Children, Underinsured Adults on Hold Due to Cold

Vaccine Shipments for Children, Underinsured Adults on Hold Due to Cold Photo: KSTP/File

January 04, 2018 01:19 PM

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has put a hold on vaccine shipments for two state programs because of extreme cold temperatures, the state Department of Health says.

Shipments for the state's Minnesota Vaccines for Children Program and the Uninsured and Underinsured Adult Vaccine Program were affected, MDH said in a release.

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The department says the shipments will resume early next week when temperatures are expected to return to normal.

MDH spokesperson Doug Schultz said extreme cold could freeze vaccines if they are not kept in temperature-controlled distribution centers, which has happened in the past. A vaccine's makeup could be chemically changed and its potency altered if it's frozen, he said.

"We are not aware of any vaccine freezing in Minnesota in the past week and this hold will continue to ensure that continues," he said. 

The MnVFC program is the state's version of the federal Vaccines for Children program, according to the MDH. The federal entitlement program distributes about $39 million worth of vaccines to public and private clinics each year in the state for children who are uninsured, enrolled in Minnesota Health Care Programs, or are American Indian or Alaska native and underinsured, Schultz said. 

The state says it provides vaccines to 180 locations across the state for uninsured and underinsured adults.

Schultz said it's unlikely any of the state's clinics would be out of vaccines because of the hold.

"We have about 800 providers that are affected by this temporary stoppage of distribution," he said. "However, we have no reason to believe that any clinic is out of vaccine at the moment; these shipments are routine orders and this hold on deliveries should not have an impact in vaccine administration within these clinic sites."

Stay tuned to KSTP.com and 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS for updates to this story.

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