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Am J Prev Med. 2000 Oct;19(3 Suppl):32-44.

State-level perspectives on immunization policies, practices, and program financing in the 1990s.

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  • 1Child Health Evaluation and Research Unit, Division of General Pediatrics, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.


This article reports on a series of structured interviews with immunization program officials in all 50 states regarding the effects of changes in federal policies and funding in the 1990s on the goals, priorities, and activities of state immunization programs. The purchase of vaccines is a major component of all state immunization programs. The Vaccines for Children (VFC) program, implemented in 1994, has become the primary source of vaccine purchase support in almost all states. A concern of many state immunization programs is their ability to ensure that vaccines are available to children who are not VFC eligible.State immunization programs also are involved in a myriad of activities necessary to ensure that children are adequately and appropriately immunized (e.g. , vaccine administration, outreach to parents). Federal funding to support these activities increased significantly during the mid-1990s, but was substantially reduced beginning in 1997. Because of these funding decreases, most states had to reduce the scale and scope of their immunization activities.State-level funding support for immunization programs varies, with state governments more likely to support vaccine purchase than immunization activities. Immunization will never be completed. Along with each new birth cohort, changes to the primary immunization schedule (i.e., addition of new vaccines and expansion of existing recommendations to encompass broader target groups) create ongoing needs for vaccine purchase and other immunization activities. Long-term immunization planning must reflect these continually expanding needs.

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