Vaccines For Children (VFC)
The Vaccines for Children (VFC) program is a federal program that provides vaccines at no cost to children who might not otherwise be vaccinated because of an inability to pay. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) buys vaccines at a discount and distributes them to state health departments, and certain local and territorial public health agencies. These agencies in turn distribute the vaccines at no charge to private physicians' offices, community health centers and public health clinics enrolled as VFC providers. Children who are eligible for VFC vaccines are entitled to receive all vaccines recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). These vaccines protect babies, young children, and adolescents from 16 different diseases.
Contact the IDOH Immunization Division at email@example.com or call the toll-free number at (800) 701-0704 for more information.
VFC Provider Resources
- Storage and Handling
- Indiana Department of Health VFC Program Data Logger Guide
- American Academy of Pediatrics Data Loggers Buyer's Guide
Storage Units and Equipment
- Indiana VFC Storage Unit Requirements
- American Academy of Pediatrics Storage Unit Buyer's Guide
- Portable Vaccine Refrigerators and Freezer Guide (FridgeFreeze)
- Transport Cooler Guide
- Warning and Do Not Unplug Labels
- Clinic and Patient Forms
Vaccine Inventory Forms
Patient Eligibility Screening Resources
Forms to support VFC-enrolled providers in ensuring VFC eligibility screening takes place with each immunization visit for all patients.
- IDOH Immunization Staff Directory Maps
- Preparing for a Compliance Visit
Every 12-24 months, VFC providers receive VFC compliance visits from their Regional Quality Assurance Specialist to assess the provider's understanding and implementation of the VFC program requirements. These visits are intended to provide the educational and technical assistance needed to support providers in reaching full compliance with program policies.
The Compliance Visit
- Assess provider eligibility screening and billing practices
- Assess provider documentation practices
- Observe vaccine storage and handling, both the individual units and sitewide
- Assess provider compliance with both CDC and state policies and procedures
- Provide technical assistance and education
If any areas of non-compliance are identified, the Regional Quality Assurance Specialist will send the provider a provider summary detailing the follow-up actions. All follow-up documentation should be sent to the Regional Quality Assurance Specialist within the required time frame.
- The provider should carefully review the provider summary
- If the follow-ups cannot be completed within the required time frame, or if there are barriers to completing them, the provider should contact the Regional Quality Assurance Specialist for assistance.
How to Prepare for your VFC Compliance Visit
Providers should be prepared to share the following information and/or documentation on the day of the visit:
- The office’s administration fee for VFC vaccines
- VFC Training Log
- Temperature logs for each storage unit (for the previous three months, including this month)
- Access to the storage units
- Access to the circuit breaker
- Copies of the VIS statements currently in use
- Current Vaccine Management Plan
- Calibration certificates for data loggers and backup data logger
- Borrowing report, if applicable
- Emergency transport equipment
Frequently Asked Questions
- What are the benefits to enrolling as a VFC Provider?
Enrollment in the VFC program allows providers to offer all recommended vaccines by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) to their eligible patients. There is also a financial benefit to enrollment through reduced out-of-pocket costs to cover the cost of vaccines.
- What are the obligations for being a VFC Provider?
Providers who are enrolled in the VFC program must be willing to comply with all VFC program requirements, including but not limited to:
- Performing patient eligibility screenings and documenting patient eligibility at each immunization visit.
- Comply with the immunization schedules, dosages and contraindications as established by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).
- Maintain all VFC program records for a minimum of 3 years.
- Follow best practices for the storage & handling and management of vaccine inventory.
- Participate in VFC compliance visits, IQIP visits, storage and handling visits and other educational opportunities associated with the VFC program. Some of these visits may be unannounced.
- Be accountable for all federally purchased doses that are administered.
- Administer federally purchased vaccines to all established patients, regardless of their ability to pay the vaccine administration fee.
- Follow all Indiana Policies and Procedures.
- How do I enroll or disenroll as a VFC Provider?