长久以来，慈善家们往往为发展中国家贫困人群无法及时获得安全有效的疫苗而叹息。然而最近来自英国医疗质量委员会（Care Quality Commission， CQC）的一项研究显示，在英国国内使用的疫苗中也有相当一部分存在质量问题，甚至于失效。CQC在报告中指出有些地方的疫苗甚至已经过期6个之多，另有 些疫苗被发现未能按照规定的方法储存。专家介绍，尽管失效的疫苗不会对患者带来直接危害，但是由于疫苗失效引起的群体健康问题却十分严重，甚至可能会导致 疫情出现，严重威胁人们的健康。
Charities frequently bemoan the difficulty in ensuring vaccines reach patients in developing countries without losing any of their potency. In developed nations, logistics should make the task easy, yet inspections of medical practitioners in the United Kingdom suggest some people receive ineffective vaccines.
The suspicion that some ineffective vaccines are administered in the U.K. stems from inspection reports written by the independent health services regulator. Having inspected 1,000 healthcare practices since April, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) highlighted vaccines as a problem area for some sites. “We found… some vaccines stored in the fridge that were 6 months out of date,” CQC wrote in its report on conditions at a practice near Manchester. A lack of temperature checks on other fridges was also noted.
While administering an out-of-date or subpotent vaccine is unlikely to directly harm a patient, there is a risk the vaccine will fail to provide the expected protection. National Health Service (NHS) chief inspector of family doctor services Steve Field said: “When something goes wrong in general practice, it has the potential to affect thousands of local people. For example, poor storage of vaccines can lead to health problems years into the future and have a huge impact on the population as a whole.”
CQC is tightening oversight of healthcare practices in an attempt to raise standards. Inspectors will now visit 25% of healthcare practices in each clinical commissioning group–the 211 regional bodies that deliver NHS services in England–every 6 months. Following this plan will see CQC inspect every site within two years.