Vaccines for Children Program Offers No-Cost Vaccination

Vaccines for Children Program Offers No-Cost Vaccination

The Vaccines for Children (VFC) Program offers vaccines at no cost for eligible children through doctors enrolled in the program. Find out if your child qualifies. Vaccinating on time means healthier children, families and communities.

Who Is Eligible for the VFC Program?

Any child that is younger than 19 years of age and meets one of the following requirements:
•Medicaid-eligible
•Uninsured
•American Indian or Alaska Native
•Underinsured*

The Vaccines for Children program was established in 1994 to make vaccines available to uninsured children. VFC has helped prevent disease and save lives; the CDC estimates that vaccination of children born between 1993 and 2013 will prevent 322 million illnesses (more than the current population of the entire USA); help avoid 732,000 deaths (greater than the population of Boston); and save nearly $1.4 trillion in total societal costs (that includes $295 billion in direct costs) or $4,473 for each American. For more information, visit www.cdc.gov/features/vfcprogram/.

What Is "Underinsured"?

Underinsured means your child has health insurance, but it:
•Doesn't cover vaccines, or
•Doesn't cover certain vaccines.

*Underinsured children are eligible to receive vaccines only at Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) or Rural Health Clinics (RHC). FQHCs and RHCs provide health care to medically underserved areas and meet certain criteria under Medicare and Medicaid programs. If you need help locating an FQHC or RHC, contact your state or city's VFC Program Coordinator.

What Is the Cost?

There is no charge for the vaccines given by a VFC provider to eligible children. But there can be some other costs with the visit:
•Doctors can charge a set (or standard) fee to administer each shot.
•There can be a fee for the office visit.
•There can be fees for non-vaccine services, like an eye exam or blood test.

Where Can My Child Get Vaccinated?

Nationally, there are nearly 44,000 healthcare providers enrolled in the VFC Program. If your child is VFC-eligible (see above), ask your child's doctor if they are a VFC provider. For help finding a VFC provider near you, contact your state or local health department's VFC Program Coordinator, or call CDC at 1-800-CDC-INFO (232-4636) for assistance.

Federal Funding, State Management

The VFC Program is funded through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In general, state health departments manage the VFC Program, but in some locations it may be managed by a city or territorial health department. CDC can help you find the website of your state or city's VFC Program.

Source: CDC

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