No cost vaccinations for children eligible for the Vaccines for Children Program

The Vaccines for Children Program has helped prevent diseases and saves lives.

Smiling child at a doctor's appointment.

After the 1989 measles outbreak, the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program was established in 1993 as an entitlement program for eligible children younger than 19 years old. The federally funded VFC program provides eligible children access to vaccines at no cost that have been recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). The program aims to help reduce financial barriers for parents and guardians in the United States.

The VFC determines eligibility for children that are younger than 19 years old and meet one of the following criteria:

  1. Medicaid-eligible
  2. Uninsured
  3. American Indian or Alaska Native
  4. Underinsured

Underinsured means the child has health insurance, but it does not cover vaccines or certain vaccines, or covers vaccines but has a fixed dollar limit or cap for vaccines. Once that fixed dollar amount is reached, a child is then eligible.

More typically, there are no charges associated with a vaccine given to eligible children by a VFC provider including physicians’ offices, state public health departments, and local public health clinics. However, there may be additional costs from the provider’s office or clinic. A detailed list of costs can be found on the CDC’s website. For more information and to locate one of the 44,000 VFC providers, contact your local VFC Coordinator. If you have additional questions, please refer to VFC’s Frequently Asked Questions website for parents/guardians and providers.

Talk with your health care provider about getting vaccinated for COVID-19. To learn more about vaccinations and vaccine-preventable diseases, visit Michigan State University Extension’s Michigan Vaccine Project, a program committed to providing evidence-based resources so you and your family can make informed health and vaccine decisions.

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