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Vaccines for Children Program

Information for Parents
child getting immunization

Is Your Child VFC Eligible?
Children through 18 years of age who meet at least one of the following criteria are VFC eligible:

  • Medicaid eligible
  • Uninsured
  • Underinsured: A child who has commercial (private) health insurance but the coverage does not include vaccines, a child whose insurance covers only selected vaccines (VFC-eligible for non-covered vaccines only), or a child whose insurance caps vaccine coverage at a certain amount. Once that coverage amount is reached, the child is categorized as underinsured (Underinsured children are eligible to receive VFC vaccine only through a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) or Rural Health Clinic (RHC)
  • Native-American or Alaskan Native

VFC Benefits for Parents and Children
  • Children get the vaccinations they need to prevent childhood diseases on time and on schedule.
  • Parents can choose a participating doctor and keep their child in a real "medical home."
  • Significant savings on vaccination costs.

Related Costs and Fees
If your child is VFC eligible, the vaccine must always be provided free of charge.

Free of charge means just that. The vaccines have already been paid for with federal tax dollars. This means that there can be no charge or fees for the vaccine itself.

However, each state immunization provider has been granted (by law) the ability to charge what is called an "administrative fee." An administrative fee is similar to a patient's co-pay, in that it helps providers offset their costs of doing business.

The amount of the administrative fee differs from state to state, based on a regional scale determined by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

These regional administrative charges are maximum fees that providers may ask patients to pay. That means that if a state's administrative fee is $17.85, a provider may charge a patient any amount up to, but not exceeding that $17.85 charge, for each vaccine administered. There is no lower limit, so providers have the option to charge what they feel is fair, including no charge at all.

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Where to Get Vaccinated
VFC vaccines can be administered by any enrolled VFC Program provider (private doctor, private clinic, hospitals, Public Health Clinic, Community Health Clinic, Schools, etc.).

Most pediatricians (doctors specializing in the treatment of children) in the United States and its Territories are now VFC enrolled providers. Additionally, many family practice providers are now enrolled, as well as general practitioners, and many other sub-specialty healthcare providers. In some States, schools are enrolled. Altogether, there are over 50,000 providers enrolled in the VFC Program nationwide.

For more information on where your child can be vaccinated, call 311.

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