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August 24, 1994

Vaccines for Children Program May Get Late Start

JAMA. 1994;272(8):576-577. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03520080014005

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VACCINES FOR CHILDREN (VFC), the administration's much-touted plan for adequately immunizing more than 90% of the nation's children by the age of 2 years, is in trouble. The General Accounting Office (GAO) has issued a strongly critical account of the program and two congressional hearings have aired further criticism of it.

A direct result has been a move by the Senate Appropriations Committee (which approves the funds for the $500-million effort) to put a hold on the scheduled start-up date of October 1 until the problems identified by the GAO have been rectified.

See also p 584.

The government's plan is intended to provide vaccines for children who otherwise would not receive them. The legislation, signed into law last August by President Bill Clinton, creates an entitlement to free vaccine for all eligible children. This includes those who are enrolled in Medicaid, those without health insurance, those who are underinsured

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