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

Vaccines For Children Program
In Brief: Information for Healthcare Providers
  

image of brochure cover pdf icon VFC Brochure for Healthcare Providers
(.pdf version for printing purposes)
   
text-only icon Text-only version-VFC Brochure for Providers
(.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?
  • What are the benefits of the VFC program?
  • Why do we need the VFC Program?
  • Which patients are eligible?
  • How can I enroll as a provider in the VFC program?
  • How do I order vaccines and keep them in supply?
  • What are the VFC provider participation requirements?
  • Can I charge a fee for administering VFC vaccine?

What is the Vaccines for Children Program?
The Vaccines for Children (VFC) program guarantees vaccine purchase and supply to all states, territories, and the District of Columbia for use by participating providers.  These vaccines are to be given to eligible children without vaccine cost to the provider.  All routine childhood vaccine recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) are available through this program.

The program saves parents and providers out-of-pocket expenses for vaccine purchases and provides cost-savings to states through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) vaccine contracts.  This results in lower vaccine prices and assures that all states pay the same contract prices, with no cost to the provider.

What are the benefits of the VFC program?
You can provide necessary vaccines to uninsured children and others who cannot get recommended vaccinations without financial assistance-and, you will not incur any additional costs.

You can also

  • Reduce referrals of eligible children to public clinics for vaccination, thus allowing them to stay in their medical homes and ensuring the continuity of care.
  • Save money on your vaccine purchases because you will receive public-purchased vaccines covered under the program.
  • Receive technical assistance to help improve your vaccination rates, such as record-keeping, vaccine handling, and vaccination opportunities.

Why do we need the VFC Program?
The VFC program reduces cost as a barrier to vaccination and enables better access to health care.
Many children are not vaccinated because their parents either do not have health insurance, or their health insurance does not cover vaccinations.  The risk of serious illness or even death from vaccine-preventable diseases is far greater for these children. However, for the many who qualify for the no-cost vaccines provided through the VFC program, this barrier to immunization is no longer a problem.

Which patients are eligible?
Children, from birth through 18 years of age, who are eligible, and meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Medicaid eligible
  • Uninsured
  • American Indian or Alaska Native
  • Underinsured*

*The patient has health insurance that does not cover vaccines.  (These children can also receive VFC vaccines at federally qualified health centers or rural health clinics.)

How can I enroll as a provider in the VFC program?
Enrolling in the VFC program is easy!  Call your state health department immunization program. Then....

  1. Request a provider enrollment package.
  2. Complete and return the enrollment form, which lists your state's requirements for participation.
  3. Return the Provider Profile form, as required, to ensure you receive the amount of vaccine needed for your office.

How do I order vaccines and keep them in supply?
When you submit the Provider Profile to your state VFC program, they will send you information on ordering vaccines.  You will place the order through your state-operated VFC program, and the vaccines will be delivered according to your individual state's procedures.  Your first vaccine delivery will arrive within 30 days of ordering.

What are the VFC provider participation requirements?
By participating in the VFC program you agree to

  • Screen all children for eligibility (verification is not required).
    Maintain a record of the screenings.
  • Follow the recommended immunization schedule as established by the ACIP, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Physicians, and state law (individual medical judgment may be exercised).
  • Not charge for VFC-supplied vaccine.
    Provide vaccine information material as prescribed by law (required of all providers regardless of their enrollment in the VFC program).
  • Complete the Provider Profile and enrollment form according to your state's requirements.
  • Agree to provider site visits by the public health department.

Can I charge a fee for administering VFC vaccine?
Yes.  However, the charge may not exceed the regional fee caps for vaccine administration, as established by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.  And you may not deny vaccinations to your VFC-eligible patients.

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

Email: nipinfo@cdc.gov
VFC website:  www.cdc.gov/nip/vfc

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

 


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This page last modified on January 27, 2004

   

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