News Releases > CHILDHOOD IMMUNIZATIONS WILL REMAIN UNINTERRUPTED
CONTACT: Amy Bukarica
July 1, 2011
INDIANAPOLIS—Children around the state will be allowed to continue receiving immunizations from their local health department whether they are covered by insurance or not, the Indiana State Department of Health announced Friday.
Earlier this year, the State Health Department provided local health departments with guidelines for the use of publicly funded vaccines, advising them to provide those vaccines only to underinsured and uninsured individuals beginning July 1, 2011. The guidelines were intended to help assure that publicly funded vaccines remained available for uninsured individuals throughout the year and to comply with the strict guidelines for the use of publicly funded vaccines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The State Health Department announced Friday that it will delay those guidelines from July 1, 2011 to January 1, 2012. The delay is intended to help local health departments with the summer “back-to-school” immunization push so children will be able to meet school entry requirements.
“In many counties, local health departments are the primary provider of all immunizations regardless of an individual’s insurance status,” said State Health Commissioner Gregory Larkin, M.D. “This delay ensures that a process will be in place which allows ready access to immunizations for all individuals while assuring appropriate use of funding sources.”
The CDC provides Indiana with $90 million annually to provide free vaccinations to children through age 18 who are Medicaid-eligible, Alaska Native, American Indian, uninsured, or who have private insurance that does not cover vaccinations (underinsured). The State has a supplemental fund of $11 million to cover vaccinations for underinsured children, an account which had dwindled down to $120 at the end of the last fiscal year.
Beginning in November, the State Health Department will provide implementation instructions to local health departments to assist with appropriate use of publicly funded and privately purchased vaccine supplies.
“We are currently reviewing various solutions that will support the dedicated efforts of local health departments to deliver immunizations across the communities they support, including both uninsured and insured individuals,” said Dr. Larkin.
State funds will continue to cover the cost of vaccinations for insured children until January of 2012.
For information on how to contact your local health department, please visit the Indiana State Department of Health at http://www.state.in.us/isdh/24822.htm.