Journal Article

Financing Immunizations in the United States

Alan R. Hinman, Walter A. Orenstein and Lance Rodewald

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 38, issue 10, pages 1440-1446
Published in print May 2004 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online May 2004 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI:
Financing Immunizations in the United States

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Children in the United States receive immunizations through both private and public sectors. The federal government has supported childhood immunization since 1963 through the Vaccination Assistance Act (Section 317 of the Public Health Service Act). Since 1994, the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program has provided additional support for childhood vaccines. In 2002, 41% of childhood vaccines were purchased through VFC, 11% through Section 317, 5% through state and/or local governments, and 43% through the private sector. The recent introduction of more-expensive vaccines, such as pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, has highlighted weaknesses in the current system. Adult immunization is primarily performed in the private sector. Until 1981, there was no federal support for adult immunization. Since 1981, Medicare has reimbursed the cost of pneumococcal vaccine for its beneficiaries; influenza vaccine was added in 1993. This paper summarizes the history of financing immunizations in the United States and discusses some current problems and proposed solutions.

Journal Article.  5154 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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