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VFC Overview

The Pennsylvania Department of Health's Vaccines for Children (VFC) Program provides vaccines to children who do not have health insurance. Children who are insured but whose insurance does not cover immunizations (underinsured) are also eligible to receive federally funded vaccines at public sites, including Federally Qualified Health Centers and rural health clinics. The goal of this federally funded program is to improve vaccine availability nationwide by providing vaccines at no cost to VFC-eligible children through public and private providers enrolled in the program. The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (OBRA) of 1993 created the VFC program. Pennsylvania began its VFC program in October 1994.

The VFC supplies federally purchased free vaccines for immunizing eligible children in public and private practices - at no cost to participating private health care providers. Approximately 60 percent of U.S. children may be expected to benefit from the VFC Program.

The VFC program provides publicly purchased vaccines for children birth through 18 years of age who meet at least one of the following criteria and are, therefore, considered federally vaccine-eligible and also eligible to
participate in the VFC program:

  • Medicaid eligible: a child who is eligible for the Medicaid program.  (For the purposes of the VFC program the terms Medicaid-eligible and Medicaid-enrolled are equivalent and refer to children who have health insurance covered by a state Medicaid program)
  • Uninsured: a child who has no health insurance coverage
  • American Indian or Alaska Native: as defined by the Indian Health Care Improvement Act (25 U.S.C. 1603)
  • Underinsured: Children who have commercial (private) health insurance but the coverage does not include vaccines, children whose insurance covers only selected vaccines (VFC-eligible for non-covered vaccines only), or children whose insurance caps vaccine coverage at a certain amount-- once that coverage amount is reached, these children are categorized as underinsured. 
    Underinsured children are eligible to receive VFC vaccine only through a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) or Rural Health Clinic (RHC).

Please contact the Pennsylvania Department of Health at 1-877-PA HEALTH (1-877-724-3258) to obtain the names and addresses of the public providers in your area

The VFC program removes vaccine cost as a barrier to immunization for eligible children, reduces referrals of children to public clinics for immunization, and facilitates their return to their private medical home for comprehensive care. The program provides a source of funding for a large percentage of our nation's children and will promote implementation of new vaccines recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The VFC program saves parents and enrolled providers more than $1184.61 per child in out-of-pocket expenses for vaccine.

The VFC program also saves state funds. Prior to VFC , private physicians in Pennsylvania purchased vaccines for Medicaid-eligible children at private market prices and passed these costs on to the state. Now, vaccines are purchased at the lower federal contract price and are distributed to private providers for administration to VFC -eligible children. VFC represents an unprecedented approach to combine the efforts of public and private providers to help accomplish and sustain vaccine coverage goals for both today and tomorrow. For more about the VFC program, visit the CDC's Web site.

The Public

  • At this site, you will find information on the following:
  • The importance of immunizations;  
  • How the PA VFC program may be able to help your child;
  • School immunization requirements ;
  • Immunization requirements in a child care setting; and
  • Reliable information about vaccine safety.

Immunization Providers

  • At this site, you will find information on the following:  
  • PA VFC Program guidelines and requirements;
  • PA VFC forms and instructions for their use;
  • Information related to provider responsibilities; and
  • Latest PA VFC news.   

To enroll in the PA VFC Program, contact the PA VFC Line at 888-646-6864.            

Philadelphia County only - Visit Philadelphia Vaccines for Children Program for more information.​