Paying for Childhood Vaccines
If you cannot afford to pay for your children's vaccines, they may be eligible to receive free vaccines through the federal Vaccines For Children Program (VFC). VFC offers vaccines at no cost to eligible children through more than 40,000 doctors who participate in the program. Simply ask your doctor if they participate in the program. If you do not have a doctor, call your state health department and ask that they refer you to a healthcare provider or clinic in your area where you can take your child to receive free vaccines.
Who Is Eligible for the VFC Program?Your child is eligible for the VFC Program if he or she is younger than 19 years of age and is one of the following:
- American Indian or Alaska Native
- Underinsured (note that underinsured children may not be able to receive vaccines in every location - see details below.)
What Is Underinsured?Underinsured means your child has health insurance, but it
- Doesn't cover vaccines, or
- Doesn't cover certain vaccines, or
- Covers vaccines but has a fixed dollar limit or cap for vaccines. Once that fixed dollar amount is reached, your child is then eligible.
Underinsured children are eligible to receive vaccines only at Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) or Rural Health Clinics (RHC). An FQHC is a type of provider that meets certain criteria under Medicare and Medicaid programs. If you need help locating an FQHC or RHC, contact your state health department.
For more information on the VFC Program, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention websitea>.
For more information on Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program, visit InsureKidsNow.gov.