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  3. Monday, 09 June 2003
POST 00570E : CONTAMINATION OF OPEN VIALS 8 June 2003 ______________________________________________ Lynda Le Le Yi (mailto:[log in to unmask]) Regional Immunization Officer at the UNICEF Regional Office for South Asia (ROSA) is requesting information of the degree of contamination of open vaccine vials. Michel Zaffran (mailto:[log in to unmask]) from WHO is providing an answer, in fact there is no answer. Michel is also sharing a report by Debra D. Kristensen, Technical Officer at PATH on a Vaccine Vial Monitor Impact Study in Bhutan. Although the report is over 3 years old and does not deal directly with the query as Michel notes, it will nevertheless interest members. It discusses some aspects of the Open-Vial Policy (by the way it is now called Multi-Dose Vial Policy (MDVP), especially the importance of respecting time limits. The attachment is rather large, 385K, thus some members may not receive it. Both contributions follow. Also note that the website has been edited with a new "Best Practice" story and a new picture for the travel quiz. ______________________________________________ There has been very high vaccine wastage in some areas of countries with mountains and/or difficult-to-reach populations where vaccinators have to catch pockets of small groups of populations on and around the mountains. Vaccinators have been using open vial policy for the DPT, TT and OPV vaccine vials and the cold chain has been kept well. We would like to know whether there is information or studies on degrees of contamination when the used vial is transported from place to place in the field in vaccine carriers after using 4 or 5 doses at a time from 20 dose vials. Thanks and best regards. Dr. Le Le Yi (Lynda) ________________________________________ To my knowledge, there are no reports on the frequency or the occurrence of actual contamination of vials taken for outreach. It would also be quite difficult to conduct such a study to confirm the contamination. Or proxies would have to be agreed upon (change in color, change in pH (?), ...). The Policy clearly states that it applies to vaccines taken out for outreach provided (among other conditions) that the vial septum has not been immersed in water. The concern has of course been that, in some cases, outreach is conducted using blocks of ice rather than icepacks which means that the vials end up floating in water, hence the high risk of contamination. So in summary, I am not aware of such data and would welcome any data that could be disseminated to countries. In fact any study on the extent of the use of the open vial policy would be quite useful. I attach a study carried out in Bhutan (final report by Debbie Kristensen) on the VVM and open vial policy-. this is not directly related to the question but may be of interest. Regards, Michel ______________________________________________________________________________ Visit the TECHNET21 Website at You will find instructions to subscribe, a direct access to archives, links to reference documents and other features. ______________________________________________________________________________ To UNSUBSCRIBE, send a message to : mailto:[log in to unmask] Leave the subject area BLANK In the message body, write unsubscribe TECHNET21E ______________________________________________________________________________ The World Health Organization and UNICEF support TechNet21. The TechNet21 e-Forum is a communication/information tool for generation of ideas on how to improve immunization services. It is moderated by Claude Letarte and is hosted in cooperation with the Centre de internationale en, Canada ( ______________________________________________________________________________ ##text##

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