Vaccines for Children Program
Metro Health’s Vaccines for Children Program is for Infants, Toddlers Tweens & Teens
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The Vaccines for Children (VFC) Program has been expanded and includes vaccines that protect adolescents from vaccine-preventable diseases. In addition to the routinely recommended childhood vaccines available through the VFC Program, physicians that serve adolescent patients can also benefit from joining the VFC Program. The VFC Program offers the following vaccines to enrolled providers for VFC eligible patients; Hepatitis B, Rotavirus, DTaP, Hib, Pneumococcal, Inactivated Polio, Influenza, MMR, Varicella, Hepatitis A, Meningococcal, TDaP, and Human Papillomavirus (HPV).
Your patients are eligible to receive VFC vaccine if they are 0-18 years of age and meet one of the following criteria:
- Medicaid Enrolled
- Underinsured (health insurance does not cover immunizations)
- American Indian or Alaskan Native
- Enrolled in CHIP (State vaccine is provided for CHIP patients)
Providers receive an administrative fee when giving immunizations to Medicaid and CHIP enrolled patients. The fee covers staff time and supplies. Providers cannot bill Medicaid or CHIP for the vaccine, because it is supplied at no cost through the VFC Program.
Providers can charge a vaccine administration fee to patients that are Uninsured, Underinsured, and American Indian or Alaskan Native by requesting the fee at the time of service, which cannot exceed $14.85 per dose. By joining the VFC Program providers agree not to turn VFC eligible children away for immunizations if the parent/guardian cannot pay the administrative fee. When the family cannot pay the administrative fee, the fee is waived and recommended vaccines are provided.
The VFC Program is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) largest public-private partnership. By decreasing referrals to public health departments, the VFC Program has improved the continuity of care and promoted the “medical home” concept. The program has contributed to high immunization rates, reduced delays in immunizations and, subsequently, the risk of serious illness or death from vaccine-preventable diseases has dropped proportionally. The VFC Program ensures that all eligible children receive the benefits of newly recommended vaccines, as they become available, thus strengthening immunity levels in their communities. The program also ensures that access to newly recommended vaccines is equal for all children regardless of family income.
Goals of the VFC Program are to ensure that 90% of all children are up to date with their immunizations by the age of two, and that no child or teenager contracts a vaccine-preventable disease because of lack of access to, or inability to pay for, vaccines.
The VFC Program staff provides valuable vaccine and immunization-related training for medical staff including explanations of; the Recommended Immunization Schedule, School Immunization Entry Requirements, Vaccine Administration, Vaccine Handling & Storage, Vaccine Safety, and introductions on new vaccines as they become available. VFC Program staff also serves as an immunization resource for physicians and their staff when immunization questions arise.
Providers enrolled in the VFC Program receive access to the San Antonio Immunization Registry (SAIRS). SAIRS holds over 1 million vaccination histories and helps providers determine patients’ immunization status. SAIRS is a confidential repository which can help providers identify patients who are due for immunizations. SAIRS also helps providers avoid over immunizing patients who have received vaccines from other physicians or the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District (SAMHD).
Medical providers decide what patients to serve and what vaccines to offer their patients. Pediatricians and Family Practice providers request all the vaccines on the recommended immunization schedule. Specialty providers, like OB/GYN or Family Planning providers, would only order vaccines they would use.
Participation in the VFC Program helps to ensure the health of our community while sharing valuable resources.
For more information call or email,
Kenya Wilson, (210) 207-3974, firstname.lastname@example.org