Vaccines for Children (VFC)
High immunization rates are essential to reduce the risk of outbreaks and prevent the resurgence of infectious diseases like measles, polio, and whooping cough. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a decline in routine immunizations among children. This decline appears most pronounced among publicly-insured and uninsured children—putting these individuals, their families, and their communities at risk for disease. Children who do not have commercial insurance are eligible for free or low-cost vaccines through the federally-funded Vaccines for Children (VFC) program. Yet data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and others indicate a gap in immunization rates between children who are eligible to receive vaccines through the VFC program compared to those with private insurance. Through education and outreach, stakeholders must work together to address the disparity in childhood immunization rates.