What is the Vaccines for Children Program?

In today’s more public health-aware society in which we live, the Vaccines for Children Program, or VFC, is yet another example of what is publicly offered. If you’ve never heard of the program, this brief piece will explain the basics of it as well as provide contacts to the program. Without further ado, let’s get started.

Program Overview

As its name suggests, the VFC is a program that is designed with the central goal of maintaining public vaccinations in children. Specifically, the program seeks to maintain vaccinations in the minor population that is underserved, underprivileged, and otherwise likely to go unvaccinated. By providing a mechanism by which even the most underprivileged children of the country can become protected from serious diseases and ailments, those children as well as the community around them directly benefit.

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The Vaccines for Children Program is a federal provision that is offered by way of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC. Interestingly enough, the program saw its birth as a resulting action by the government in response to the extensive and deadly measles outbreak that occurred between 1989 and 1991. OBRA, the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 was that outbreak’s direct response. This act then gave way to the VFC as offered in its current state by the CDC.

Eligibility Parameters

The eligibility requirements of the VFC are designed to provide vaccination coverage starting at the exact places in society where it may become unattainable otherwise. Simply put, if the child in question is under the age of 19 and is not covered for vaccination by any other means, including by way of insurance, they are then covered for those vaccinations under VFC. Boiled down, this means that the following children are covered:

  • Medicaid Eligible
  • Uninsured
  • Underinsured
  • American Indian or Alaskan Native

Providers of VFC Service

A common question of the program is that of providers. Who exactly provides VFC vaccination services? Which doctors or medical facilities recognize and honor VFC vaccination coverage?

In short, there are many facilities all over that commonly accept VFC vaccination coverage for the purpose of administering vaccines. Many of these are:

  • ordinary clinics
  • doctor offices
  • hospitals

Other providers are those that may be more specialized such as a Rural Health Clinic, or RHC. For those interested, a full listing of state-by-state VFC providers is provided by the CDC at https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/imz-managers/awardee-imz-websites.html.

Diseases and Ailments Covered

Anyone vaccinated by way of this program will enjoy the same, complete benefits of those vaccinated by other means. Access to vaccinations is identical as well as quality medical service in the administration of those vaccines. According to the CDC, the following are those conditions vaccinated against through the program.

  • Diphtheria
  • Haemophilus influenza type b (Hib)
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Influenza (flu)
  • Measles
  • Meningococcal
  • Mumps
  • Pertussis (whooping cough)
  • Pneumococcal
  • Polio
  • Rotavirus
  • Rubella (German Measles)
  • Tetanus (lockjaw)
  • Varicella (chickenpox)

The VFC program is one that assures the children and all others in our society a much healthier and safe life. These are the basics of this important program as it operates today. For more  information and resources regarding the Vaccines for Children Program, inquire with the CDC directly at the program’s contact page.