Kids not being able to get the shots needed for school

The article “No low-cost vaccinations for insured children, state says” was featured on, yesterday.  (Read the entire article here.)

The article written reports that a new Indiana State Department of Health policy goes into effect starting July 1st that will no longer allow county health departments to provide low-cost immunizations to children who have insurance.

photo by seanmichaelragan

This new policy is intended to reserve vaccinations for the most needy. However, even families with insurance face out-of-pocket expenses they can not afford because some insurance policies have high deductibles or only cover one shot.

Some Indiana medical practices participate in the Vaccines for Children program.  The Vaccine for Children (VFC) program is a federal program that provides eligible children all recommended vaccines at little or no cost.  However, if your doctor’s office is not a VFC participating provider, community health centers, such as HealthNet, to receive much of the same services.

Even though summer has just begun, the new school year will be here before we know it. Come August, families will be scrambling to get their children the immunizations that are required for them to start school because of an additional barrier.

The policy also concerns Dr. Sarah Stelzner, co-president of the Indiana chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

“Why,” she asked, “would you put more barriers up to kids being vaccinated?”

We are still living in tight economic times and even if you have insurance, it may not cover all the costs associated with getting your child immunized.  Last year, we saw a HUGE amount of children enter the school year without the proper immunizations.  This new policy could cause citizens to maintain the trend.

How do you feel about this new policy?
Do you think it will create more issues come this August?

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