Vaccines for Children Program (VFC)

The New York City Vaccines for Children (VFC) Program is a federally funded program that supplies providers in private and public health care facilities throughout New York City with free vaccines for eligible children. Besides VFC, additional types of funding may be allocated to cover additional populations.

NYC VFC Program Staff

Provider Quality Assurance Unit

In New York City, the Provider Quality Assurance (PQA) Unit oversees the review and evaluation of VFC provider practices and is implemented through VFC and IQIP (Immunization Quality Improvement for Providers) site visits.

VFC visits are conducted by program reviewers and involve storage and handling evaluations, chart reviews, analysis of electronic immunization records, vaccine ordering, and vaccine utilization and reporting through NYC's Citywide Immunization Registry. IQIP is delivered in four parts over a 12-month period to select VFC-enrolled providers and involves review of immunization delivery practices and site-specific coverage rates, discussion of quality improvement strategies, and delivery of CIR technical assistance.

The PQA Unit is also responsible for vaccine management and processing of over 3.6 million doses of publicly funded vaccine for nearly 1,300 immunization providers each year. Providers receive vaccines in accordance with their vaccine reporting to the CIR and the PQA Unit addresses any issues that may require follow-up.

City Immunization Registry (CIR)

The Citywide Immunization Registry (CIR) is a central record-keeping system used to track the immunization status of individual children and monitor immunization levels in the population. The CIR is accessible to licensed health care providers, parents, and agencies authorized by DOHMH to retrieve immunization records in order to ensure that children receive all required immunizations. The CIR provides two methods for exchanging immunization data with providers: 1) through the online registry, a web-based application or 2) through interfaces with provider electronic health records (EHRs), a requirement for providers participating in the meaningful use incentive program. For more information, visit City Immunization Registry (CIR) .

Eligibility for the VFC Vaccine Program

In NYC, children from birth through 18 years of age who fall under any of the following categories are eligible for publicly-funded vaccine:

  • 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
  • Native-American or Alaskan Native
  • Enrolled in Child Health Plus B (CHPlus B)

Note that the following children are not considered underinsured:

  • Children whose insurance covers a portion of the cost of the vaccine but not the full amount. In this case providers should consider renegotiating the contract with the insurance company
  • Children whose insurance covers vaccines but have a high deductible and whose deductibles have not been met.

In order to join the NYC VFC program, providers must serve children who fall under any of the eligibility categories listed above. In addition, providers must not be included in the Medicare/Medicaid Restricted and Excluded Individuals or Entities list

Benefits of Participating in the VFC Program

  • It will enhance your ability to provide government purchased vaccine to your eligible patients and reduce your out-of-pocket costs.
  • It will allow you to fully vaccinate all children with ACIP recommended vaccines.
  • It will allow you to improve your site’s immunization delivery practices.
  • You will no longer have to refer patients for immunizations.
  • It will help increase community immunization coverage levels.
  • The VFC Program offers a variety of manufacturers and vaccine.
  • A vaccine administration fee can be charged for each VFC vaccination given.
  • Provider enrollment is easy and vaccines are delivered directly to your private office or health care facility within two weeks of placing your order.
  • You will have access to excellent customer service to address your questions.

Additional Resources

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