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VFC Program

Three young children smilingThe 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.

The Vaccines for Children (VFC) Program helps provide vaccines to children whose parents or guardians may not be able to afford them. This helps ensure that all children have a better chance of getting their recommended vaccinations on schedule. These vaccines protect babies, young children, and adolescents from 16 diseases (see the list).

Who Is Eligible for the VFC Program?

  • Medicaid-eligible
  • Uninsured
  • American Indian or Alaska Native
  • Underinsured if receiving VFC vaccines at a Federally Qualified Health Center or Rural Health Clinic
Vaccines for Children: 20 years of protecting America’s children. The Vaccines for Children program was established in 1994 to make vaccines available to uninsured children.VFC has helped prevent disease and save lives ... big time! 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

Vaccines for Children: 20 years of protecting America’s children.

What Is Underinsured?

Underinsured means your child has health insurance, but it:

  • Doesn't cover vaccines, or
  • Doesn't cover certain vaccines, or
  • Covers vaccines but has a fixed dollar limit or cap for vaccines. Once that fixed dollar amount is reached, your child is then eligible.

Underinsured children are eligible to receive vaccines only at Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) or Rural Health Clinics (RHC). An FQHC is a type of provider that meets certain criteria under Medicare and Medicaid programs. If you need help locating an FQHC or RHC, contact your state VFC coordinator.

What Is the Cost?

There is no charge for any vaccines given by a VFC provider to eligible children, but there can be some other costs with a vaccination:

  • Doctors can charge a set (or standard) fee to administer each shot. If your child is VFC-eligible, he or she cannot be refused a vaccination because you are unable to pay the fee for administering the 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.
Doctor showing young patient chart of anatomy

There is no charge for any vaccines given by a VFC provider to eligible children.

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), check that your child's doctor is a VFC Program provider.

If your child's doctor is not a VFC provider, you can contact one of the following places to get VFC vaccinations:

  • Public health clinic (local health department)
  • Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC)
  • Rural Health Clinic (RHC)

The best place to take your child depends on where you live and what type of eligibility your child has under the VFC Program.
Contact your state's VFC Coordinator to find out where to take your child for VFC vaccinations. You can find your state's VFC coordinator online. Or call 1-800-CDC-INFO (232-4636) and ask for the phone number of your state's VFC Coordinator.

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.

  • Page last reviewed: February 19, 2015
  • Page last updated: February 19, 2015
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