Indiana State Health Officials Find Immunization Funds

Armen Hareyan's picture
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State health officials today announced they have secured state funding to temporarily bridge a shortfall in federal funding for immunizations for underinsured children.

"Governor Daniels directed us to find short-term funding so we can continue to provide vital school-required and recommended vaccines to all children in Indiana," said State Health Commissioner Judy Monroe, M.D. "This temporary reallocation of state funds should cover the costs until July 2007. Protecting young people in this state from vaccine-preventable diseases is one of our top priorities."

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If dedicated state funding for immunizations is not available after July, re-prioritization existing funding will be necessary. The funding shortfall recently identified was the result of a combination of less federal funding and the higher cost of providing vaccines for more underinsured children.

For now, required and recommended vaccines will be available for underinsured children through local health departments or public providers. Immunizations required for school, daycare, and Head Start enrollment include: DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis), hepatitis B, Hib (Haemaphilus influenzae Type b), MMR (measles, mumps and rubella), PCV7 (pneumococcal conjugate vaccine), polio, and varicella. Childhood vaccines that are recommended, but not required, include: hepatitis A, HPV (Human Papillomavirus), influenza, meningococcal, rotavirus, and Tdap (tetanus diphtheria acellular pertussis).

"The governor's Healthier Indiana Plan (HIP) is the long-term solution to our immunization efforts. Governor Daniels is committed to providing immunizations for Hoosier children, and his plan has earmarked $11 million for vaccines," said Dr. Monroe. "HIP will ensure that the necessary vaccines are available to all children, as it provides for dedicated state funding for immunizations."

According to the 2005 National Immunization Survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Indiana ranks 39th in the nation in immunization rates for 2-year-olds, with only 78.5 percent, or 47,300, of them receiving complete immunizations by their 2nd birthday. The CDC

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