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Vaccines for Children Program (VFC)
For Parents
VFC is vaccines for children

Vaccines For Children Program
In Brief: Information for Parents

image of brochure cover

pdf icon VFC Brochure for Parents
(.pdf version for printing purposes)
text-only icon Text-only version of VFC Brochure for Parents
(.txt for screen-reader devices)
This brochure answers these questions (which is also repeated in the text below on this page):
  • What is the Vaccines for Children Program?
  • Is my child eligible?
  • How much will I have to pay?
  • Where can I get VFC vaccines for my child?
  • Which diseases can the VFC vaccines prevent?

What is the Vaccines for Children Program?
The Vaccines for Children (VFC) program is a federal program that provides eligible children all recommended vaccines at no cost. You may, however, be charged a small processing fee.  The federal government pays for the vaccines, and doctors and clinics agree to give the vaccines to children who qualify.

If your doctor is a VFC participating provider you can get your child's shots in the doctor's office.  However, if your doctor is not a "VFC participating provider," you can take your child to your local health department or to your community or rural health center clinic for these free or low cost vaccines.

Is my child eligible?
Children from birth through 18 years of age can receive vaccines through the VFC program if they are at least one of the following:

  • eligible for Medicaid
  • without health insurance
  • American Indian or Alaska Native
  • under-insured*

*If you have health insurance that doesn't cover vaccines, your child is eligible.  However, you will have to go to a federally qualified health center or a rural health clinic for your VFC vaccinations.  Call your local or state health department immunization program for a center nearest you.

How much will I have to pay?
You won't pay anything for the vaccine itself, but you may be asked to pay a small processing fee.  However, you can still get the vaccine, even if you can not pay this fee.  The savings to you can be well over $400!

Where can I get VFC vaccines for my child?
Most baby and family doctors take part in the VFC program.  Ask your doctor.  Or call your local or state health department immunization program to find out if your doctor is a "VFC participating provider".  They can also give you a list of "VFC participating providers" in your area.

For more information on the VFC program, please call your doctor, your local health department, or your state immunization program.

You can also email the National Immunization Program or visit the national VFC program website:

VFC website:

Or call the CDC Information Contact Center:
1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636)
TTY (hearing impaired): 1-888-232-6348

Which diseases can the VFC vaccines prevent?

  • Diphtheria
  • Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Measles
  • Mumps
  • Pertussis (whooping cough)
  • Pneumoccocal disease
  • Polio
  • Rubella (German measles)
  • Tetanus (lockjaw)
  • Varicella (chickenpox)

Some people think these diseases no longer exist
They do exist.  But we seldom see most of them in the U.S. because of successful vaccination programs, such as the VFC program.  The only way to keep from seeing these diseases often, and to protect our children from them, is to continue to vaccinate against them.

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This page last modified on January 26, 2004


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