The Utah Vaccine for Children (VFC) vaccine distribution management has an impact on the ability of 360 public/private provider groups statewide to reach clients which ultimately impact state coverage levels of immunizations across all ages. The Utah VFC program processed over 44,000 vaccine doses on average each month in 2013. This fall in addition to dealing with vaccine shortages, there was the addition of seasonal flu vaccine distribution of 107,000 doses.
The VFC program has had challenges in 2013 from complex spend plans, implementation of new federal policies and procedures, development of transition to a new online ordering system, and dealt with vaccine shortages and creation of allocation plans. As hard as the Vaccine Management Team worked to provide oversight and customer service, one troubling issue continued: provider level accountability and vaccine wastage.
In 2011, VFC providers returned more than $1.2 million worth of product due to provider level wastage, expired, and unaccounted for vaccine. To reduce wastage and increase accountability, the state team reviewed all aspects of vaccine management and accountability processes. In 2013, they implemented refined internal order review and handling processes, developed an evaluation project, and an innovative provider ordering model that looks at all provider data related to inventory, orders and doses administered and shows provider specific variances.
This resulted in significantly reducing returned vaccine to $406,250 in 2013. Savings of state and federal vaccine resources and with the increasing costs of vaccines more important than ever.
Thank you Karen Tsuyuki, Josette Ono, and Jennifer Green for your innovation, achievement and continued work.