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Immunization Newsletter - VFC Program

Issue I

March 2016

In This Issue...

VFC Program
Online Resources

IAFP Online Education

IAFP is pleased to offer online immunization education modules. Visit cme.iafp.com to sign up for a free account and earn your CME today. Additional modules will be available soon, so be sure to keep an eye out for the most up-to-date presentations!


Vaccines for Children (VFC) Program


The Vaccines for Children (VFC) Program was established in 1993 and aims to promote timely vaccinations by providing free vaccines to children whose parents otherwise may have been unable to afford them. The vaccines provided by the VFC program cover sixteen diseases and have been recommended by the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. Children under the age of 19 who are Medicaid-eligible, uninsured, under-insured, or Native American/Alaska Native are eligible for the VFC program.

The VFC program is structured so that the CDC purchases vaccines at a discount and then distributes them to state health departments and other local public health agencies. In turn, they distribute the vaccines to VFC registered private physicians' offices and public health clinics.  Enrolling in the VFC program offers several incentives to healthcare providers. First, providers are able to provide all ACIP-recommended vaccines to eligible patients and, as it encourages children to receive their vaccinations through their regular source of primary care, it allows for vaccination and health records to be maintained at the same location. VFC providers reduce their out-of-pocket costs for vaccines for eligible patients, and the VFC program enhances services provided to populations that receive Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic, and Treatment benefits.

VFC providers are required to enroll in the program on an annual basis. VFC providers in the state of Illinois are required to use the Illinois Comprehensive Automated Immunization Registry Exchange (I-CARE). Enrollment forms are completed in I-CARE, with a confirmation page to be signed and faxed to the Illinois Department of Public Health.  Additionally, certificates of calibration must be provided for all thermometers. Once the practice has been enrolled in VFC in I-CARE, a site visit will take place to go over the program's administrative requirements and to ensure proper handling of vaccines upon arrival.

Information and forms for enrollment are available at http://www.idph.state.il.us/health/vaccine/icarefs.html

Online Resources

CDC Resources

IDPH Resources


Illinois Academy of Family Physicians
747 E. Boughton Road, Ste. 253

Bolingbrook, IL 60440-2281