The Vaccines for Children program (VFC) provides federally purchased vaccines to approximately 50% of children in the United States, including children who are enrolled in Medicaid or who are uninsured or underinsured. CCSD is able to provide vaccines to students through VFC (thanks to Dr. Key), so that they can be up to date and eligible to attend school each year. The VFC was created in 1993, though, so it needs some updating.
There’s a new federal bill called The Strengthening Vaccines for Children Program Act of 2021 (just introduced in the House as H.R. 2347, about to be introduced in the Senate) that includes several improvements to the program in order to make it easier for providers to give the vaccines to children. The bill is backed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, and in fact this week hundreds of pediatricians met with Capitol Hill staffers to advocate for the bill as part of the AAP’s Advocacy Conference. I’ve included a few one-pagers with more information about the COVID-19 pandemic’s effects on childhood vaccination rates and with information about the bill.
Please consider contacting Senator Graham, Senator Scott, and Representative Mace’s offices to advocate for this bill! The VFC has been hugely important to CCSD and to children throughout Charleston.