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Examining the Vaccines for Children Program and Its Role in Providing Kids with COVID-19 Vaccine Coverage

October 11, 2023

Vaccines are among the most effective ways to help protect children from many serious and potentially deadly diseases. Unfortunately, the number of children in the U.S. who are up to date on routine vaccinations has declined in recent years, putting them at increased risk for infection. This continued backslide in childhood immunizations and low rates of COVID-19 vaccination is especially alarming as we approach winter months when cases of respiratory illness typically increase. With updated COVID-19 vaccines now available, there is an opportunity to reinforce the importance of pediatric vaccination and answer parents’ questions about recommended vaccines, coadministration, and coverage when administering annual flu vaccines or during well-child visits.

To help address these and other questions, the CVEEP and the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) co-hosted an online event to examine how the federally funded Vaccines for Children (VFC) Program covers payment of COVID-19 vaccines for children. During the 60-minute webinar, panelists discussed the importance of VFC, including eligibility and how the program covers updated COVID-19 vaccines, and proven strategies for combatting disparities in childhood immunization rates.

Panelists included:

  • Peter Marks, MD, PhD, Director, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER), Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
  • Demetre Daskalakis, MD, MPH, Acting Director, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • Michelle Fiscus, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Association of Immunization Managers

The discussion was moderated by Patricia (Patsy) A. Stinchfield, RN, MS, CPNP, NFID President, past voting member and current liaison to the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) representing the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP).

Watch the discussion below.

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