Mandate reserves federally funded vaccines for uninsured

Tdap vaccines offered at no cost to county residents until June 1, due to recent pertussis outbreak

April 23, 2013

GARFIELD COUNTY, CO – Garfield County Public Health (GCPH) can no longer administer federally funded vaccines to fully-insured children. The change in policy was the result of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) implementing changes to its funding of childhood vaccines. The CDC defines fully-insured as “anyone with insurance that covers the cost of their vaccines, even if the insurance includes a high deductible or co-pay”.

Federally funded vaccines play a crucial role in assuring national immunization coverage and prevention of disease. With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, it is anticipated that more individuals will have private insurance that includes coverage for routine vaccines.

The change sets aside federally funded vaccines for those with the least ability to pay and who have no insurance coverage.

Garfield County residents with private insurance are encouraged to call their insurance companies to determine the level of coverage in place for routine vaccinations.

Garfield County Public Health is in the process of becoming an “in-network” provider with several larger insurance carriers. Please contact the health department with any questions regarding these changes to the immunization program.

In other Garfield County immunization news, the number of confirmed pertussis (whooping cough) cases in Garfield County has increased by two cases to 13 over the past couple of weeks. The newest cases were in New Castle and Rifle, while earlier ones were in Carbondale and Glenwood Springs. GCPH staff is optimistic since the cases have not spread more quickly and that the contagiousness of existing cases is waning, but continued vigilance is important. GCPH will still offer free Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis) vaccinations to those 10 years and older until June 1, 2013. For more information, please contact GCPH offices in Glenwood Springs at 970-945-6614 and in Rifle at 970-625-5200.