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August 8, 2007

Reasons and Remedies for Underinsurance for Child and Adolescent Vaccines

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Child Health Evaluation and Research (CHEAR) Unit, Divisions of General Pediatrics and General Internal Medicine, and Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; and Center for Studying Health System Change, Washington, DC.

JAMA. 2007;298(6):680-682. doi:10.1001/jama.298.6.680

For childhood and adolescent vaccinations, having private insurance may be worse than having no insurance at all. If that seems odd, given the usual advantages of insurance in the US health care system, consider the federal Vaccines for Children (VFC) program. The VFC program pays for all vaccinations recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for children who are uninsured, Medicaid-eligible, or of American Indian/Alaska Native origin. The architects of VFC wanted to ensure an equitable floor of financing in all states for children who have historically been most vulnerable to the problem of undervaccination.1

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