The inability to pay for vaccinations may be one significant roadblock for being vaccinated. Publicly funded vaccination programs can help address this gap in vaccination coverage. The majority of publicly funded vaccination is accomplished primarily with federal funding. The federal funded Vaccines for Children (VFC) program pays for vaccinations for children who are Medicaid-covered, uninsured or underinsured. Section 317 of the Public Health Services Act provides additional discretionary funds, though federal funding has not kept pace with rising costs. States can provide additional funding to broaden coverage and increase vaccination rates. However, several states have begun to explore alternative funding models to support vaccinations for those who fall outside the scope of federal programs.
This issue brief explores some of these alternative funding mechanisms, focusing on examples from Idaho, New Hampshire, Maine and Washington. Information regarding issues and challenges faced by other states considering similar programs is also provided