A Note from Harry Schechter:
If you're like me, you're a parent hoping to stretch the limits of time. It's a 24 hour day nonetheless, and sometimes, even as close as I am to this business, I lose sight of what's really important. I was speaking with our marketing department about this upcoming blog series about vaccines, vaccine storage tips and directed guidance for handling of a variety of life-changing vaccines. We were preparing to talk about DTaP (Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis), and the acronym brought me to a catharsis of sorts.
Before I had children, I had been relatively clueless about the shots that I had received in the past, and frankly, a bit paranoid as I had received many vaccinations before the advent of many handling and storage standards (or at least, the standards that I see today). My son is five years old, and it was only two weeks ago that he was given the DTaP vaccine from his doctor. I was hoping to ask a question unrelated to the vaccine and about his general health. My son, meanwhile, was temporarily engrossed in action figure acrobatics and was anticipating a lollipop.
When I was talking to the doctor, I didn't feel obligated to go that extra mile to ensure that my son, among others, was receiving a vaccine that had been properly stored (within temperature range), handled carefully prior to use, and had not 'expired'. I took one look at the syringe and thought nothing of it.
On the drive home, I was thinking about how relaxed I felt (as well as my son, surprisingly!) about the vaccination. I thought about some of the news stories that I had read, from meningitis outbreaks to tainted vaccines, and after hearing about the DTaP blog topic, I realized that I needed to say something.
For my son's next visit, I may not be able to walk into the storage units myself to check quality control, but I will make a push to understand their practices and standards regarding vaccine storage. I remembered a commercial which showed a man at a restaurant who asked endless questions about menu items. The same man was put into a doctor's office, and he remained silent when posed with "did you have any questions or concerns?". Don't let this be you, especially if your children are the issue.
I hope these thoughts reach you well.
CEO at Temperature@lert