Thursday, September 20, 2012

Universal childhood immunizations

Public Law 2009-595 went into effect on January 1. This law reinstated the universal status of childhood immunizations in Maine. As part of this legislation the Maine Vaccine Board (MVB) was formed to help the State of Maine reinstate its universal purchase of vaccines for children under age 19. The MVB assures the necessary flow of vaccine purchase funds by collecting payments from health plans, insurance companies, and other payers and remitting the funds to the state. Through the Maine CDC's Childhood Vaccine Program, the State purchases vaccines at favorable rates and distributes them to providers at no charge.

This means that all Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommended vaccines are now available to all Maine children under age 19 at no cost to the child’s family or to providers in the State of Maine.

This program has many benefits for Maine citizens:
  • reduces out-of-pocket vaccine costs for parents
  • improves vaccination rates in Maine children
  • lowers costs of vaccines through a public-private partnerships
  • lowers vaccine costs in provider offices
  • improves vaccine access by creating a single-tier system in provider offices
  • most importantly, will improve vaccine rates by offering combination vaccines to reduce missed opportunities.
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