The Department of Public Health’s vaccine inventory is “grossly inaccurate,” according to a recent audit.
DPH did not record vaccine supplies, prompting the Auditors of Public Accounts to request a report. Subsequent review of the DPH submission found failure to account for 490 vaccines.
Since vaccines are not adequately tracked, planning for everyday public health needs or disease outbreaks could prove difficult. One concern, according to auditors, is that DPH employs a single person to keep tabs on inventory.
In addition to vaccines, HIV and tuberculosis drugs and supplies also went unaccounted. Between 2007 and 2009, $579,031 of TB and $285,119 of HIV supplies were omitted from reports.
While the audit was unclear about what kinds of HIV materials were missing from records, things may have improved.
“This all occurred under the previous administration’s watch. DPH is a much better place now,” said Shawn Lang, director of public policy for AIDS Connecticut.
“People with HIV in CT actually have very good access to medications,” Lang said.
He said the uninsured and underinsured can receive treatment through various programs, including the CT AIDS Drug Assistance Program, administered through the Department of Social Services.
DPH was budgeted more than $277 million for this year, with about $18.3 million to immunization services, just under $5 million for AIDS services and $1.2 million toward x-ray screening and tuberculosis care.