As of July 1, 2010 significant changes to the North Carolina Immunization Program (NCIP) have been made. Free State funded vaccines are no longer provided to insured children. Insured families may be able to take advantage of a $3 million in one-time funding approved by the NC General Assembly to provide a limited amount of free vaccine during this transition period away from the state funded program. This vaccine will be distributed to children entering kindergarten up to and including 8th grade through the health department, private physician practices and clinics that participate in the North Carolina Immunization Program Vaccination for Children Program. Once the supply of free vaccine is depleted, patients with insurance will need to use their insurance plan to receive vaccine services. Parents are encouraged to contact their insurance providers to see if they have vaccine coverage.
According to the state, an estimated 67 percent of North Carolina’s children qualify for the federally-funded Vaccine for Children (VFC) program, which provides vaccinations for eligible children through age 18. To qualify a child must be:
- Medicaid eligible,
- American Indian or Alaskan Native,
- Uninsured. Underinsured means a child has health insurance, but it won’t cover vaccine (s) because it doesn’t cover any vaccines, it doesn’t cover certain vaccines, or it covers vaccines but it has a fixed dollar limit or cap for vaccines. Once that fixed dollar amount has been reached, a child is eligible.
There is no fee for the cost of VFC vaccine for eligible children; however a provider may charge a fee to administer the vaccine.
The Immunization Program at the Mecklenburg County Health Department can answer questions that you have about immunizations. For immunization questions, call 704-353-1997. For appointments, call 704-336-6500. For details on school immunization requirements in North Carolina, visit http://www.immunizenc.com/SchoolReqs.htm#requirements.