Introduction to the Vaccines for Children Program
The Vaccines for Children (VFC) Program was created as part of the federal Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, Section 1928 of the Social Security Act, in August 1993. The goal of this federally funded program is to improve vaccine availability nationwide by providing vaccines at no cost to VFC-eligible children through public and private providers enrolled in the program. The program is regulated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and National Immunization Program (NIP). The VFC program is now operational in all 50 states, Washington D.C., and eight territories including the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Guam. Nevada began its VFC program in October of 1994. VFC vaccines are purchased under CDC contract, and are supplied to enrolled providers at no cost.
Nevada Immunization Program Objectives
To increase the immunization levels of children by eliminating the cost barrier that has prevented some private health care providers from immunizing children whose parents could not afford the vaccine. It also helps ensure that every VFC eligible child does not contract a vaccine preventable disease. The Nevada Immunization Program works closely with Local Health Districts and the community to help develop and implement systems to assess immunizations levels statewide.
Before administering a VFC vaccine to a child, the provider will question the child’s parent or guardian to determine whether the child is eligible. Children between the ages of birth through 18 years are eligible for VFC vaccines in Nevada if they meet at least one of the following criteria:
1. Are Medicaid-eligible: A child who is eligible for the Medicaid Program. (For the purpose of the VFC
program, the terms “Medicaid-eligible” and “Medicaid enrolled” are used interchangeably and refer to
children who have health insurance covered by a state Medicaid program.
2.Uninsured: A child who has no health insurance coverage
3. American Indian or Alaska Native (AI/AN): As defined by the Indian Health Care Improvement Act
(25 U.S.C. 1603);
a) A child who has health insurance, but the coverage does not include vaccines; or
b) A child whose insurance does not cover all Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommended vaccines. The child would be eligible to receive those vaccines not covered by the insurance. Underinsured children are eligible to receive VFC vaccine only through a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), or Rural Health Clinic (RHC) or under an approved deputization agreement.
More information about delegated VFC providers can be found under the community resources link to the right.
Any physician, healthcare organization or medical practice licensed by the State of Nevada to prescribe and administer vaccines may enroll in the Nevada VFC program. Requirements for provider enrollment ensure accountability.
- Administer vaccines supplied by the Nevada Immunization Program to VFC-eligible children and NV-Checkup enrolled children.
- Maintain eligibility records and all other VFC-related paperwork for a minimum of three (3) years.
- Upon request, make eligibility information records available to the Nevada Immunization Program.
- Comply with the appropriate immunization schedule, dosage and contraindications as established by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).
- Provide up-to-date vaccine information statements (VIS) and maintain records in accordance with the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act.
- Not impose a fee for the cost of the vaccine.
- Charge a vaccine administration fee that is not above the fee cap established by the State. Nevada Fee Cap $22.57
- The provider will not deny administration of an eligible child due to the accompanying adult’s inability to pay an administration fee.
- Comply with the requirements for inventory accountability, temperature reporting, and other requirements as outlined by the State.
- Responsible for the proper storage and handling of state provided vaccines after delivery to the provider facility.
- VFC vaccines may only be used only for VFC eligible clients. The provider should ensure that privately purchased vaccines are distinguished from VFC-supplied vaccines.
Charges and Fees for Immunization of VFC Clients
VFC enrolled patients may not be charged for the cost of a vaccine provided by the Nevada State Immunization Program. However, office visits may be charged and Medicaid and Medicaid Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) may be billed for vaccine administration fees. Families not covered by Medicaid or Medicaid HMOs may be charged a vaccine administration fee. This administration fee should not exceed the fee cap of $22.57, which is established by the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA). This fee may be adjusted based on the family’s ability to pay.
Use of VFC Vaccines
VFC vaccines may only be used only for VFC eligible clients. The provider should ensure that privately purchased vaccines are distinguished from VFC-supplied vaccines.
How Do I Enroll?
Provider Enrollment and Agreement to Participate
Enrollment in the Nevada State Immunization Program's (NSIP) Vaccines for Children (VFC) Program is a simple process. To enroll, the provider must complete Agreement to Participate:
- Agreement to Participate - This form is the first step to becoming a VFC provider, and gives NSIP the information on all individuals within a practice who have prescription privileges related to child immunizations. Please read the form carefully and fill out completely. Incomplete forms will not be processed for enrollment.
By federal requirement, these forms must be completed on a yearly basis, even if there are no anticipated changes in the provider’s program. If, however, there are changes in a provider’s practice regarding persons with prescription writing authority, or in the partnership or legal make-up of the practice or office hours, the provider should contact the NSIP, to notify them of these changes.
Note: The Nevada State Immunization Program will notify each provider regarding yearly updating of the Agreement to Participate.
Submitting Your Agreement to Participate
Once the forms listed above are completed and signed by the provider (or authorized designee),email, fax, or mail forms to:
Nevada State Immunization Program
4150 Technology Way Suite 210
Carson City NV 89706
The provider should make copies of the completed forms and retain them for their files. Once the NSIP receives the Agreement, a State representative will contact each provider. The State representative will verbally outline several follow-up items that will be required before a provider is officially enrolled. Upon receipt of your completed forms, the State representative will issue your office an account number (Personal Identification Number- PIN). Please refer to this number for all contacts and transactions with the VFC program office.
Part of the enrollment process includes recording temperatures for the refrigerator and freezer where the vaccines will be stored. The NSIP’s temperature log form should be used and is available for download on this page. This log lists the correct temperature ranges for the safe storage of vaccines. You will be asked to submit a completed temperature log to the Nevada State Immunization Program once monthly and with each new vaccine request.
Once the NSIP has received all enrollment information, a State representative will schedule an enrollment visit. The enrollment visit will include a review of VFC program requirements, vaccine storage and handling procedures and allows you or your staff to have your questions answered. A Provider Manual will also be given that has important policies and procedures regarding VFC-supplied vaccine. Upon completion of the enrollment visit, and approval of vaccine storage unit, the NSIP will ship a starter kit of vaccines to your office.
Charges and Fees for Immunization of VFC clients
VFC enrolled patients may not be charged for the cost of a vaccine provided by the Nevada Immunization Program. However, office visits may be charged and Medicaid and Medicaid Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) may be billed for vaccine administration fees. Families not covered by Medicaid or Medicaid HMOs may be charged a vaccine administration fee. This administration fee should not exceed the fee cap of $22.57, which is established by the U.S. DHHS.
VFC vaccinations cannot be denied to an established VFC-eligible patient due to the inability of the parents to pay the administration fee.