On April 1, 2011 the Vermont Department of Health (VDH) launched the Vaccine Purchasing Pool pilot program to ensure universal access to immunizations recommended for children and adults. The program is authorized in Vermont statute 18 V.S.A §1130 and establishes a vaccine purchasing pool that will enable the Health Department to purchase pediatric and adult vaccines at the lowest possible price for all Vermonters.
In 2013, VDH contracted with KidsVax.org® for administrative support services, including the development of this website. The pilot program has been branded as the Vermont Vaccine Purchasing Program (VVPP). Through this program, VDH is seeking to efficiently and equitably provide for the necessary flow of vaccine purchase funds. They do this by collecting funds from health plans, insurance companies, and other payers. The state uses these funds to purchase vaccines for Vermont’s Vaccines for Children (VFC) and Vaccine for Adults (VFA) programs. These vaccines are purchased at favorable rates and distributed to providers at no charge.
Why Universal Vaccine Purchase?
There are several reasons that the state pushed to safeguard universal purchase of childhood vaccines:
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Lower Costs: States that serve as the single purchaser of childhood vaccines receive more favorable pricing. Depending on the vaccine, these prices range from an estimated 15 percent to 60 percent lower than private purchase alternatives. These savings lower the costs of the health care and, ultimately, help hold down rising premium costs for individuals and benefit costs for employers.
Provider Benefits and Family Choice: Health care providers continue to administer childhood vaccines to their patients, free of worry. In addition, they avoid the financial and staffing burden required to purchase vaccines privately and both store and administer serum separately for privately and publicly insured children. Additionally, as childhood vaccine purchases are uncoupled from tight state budgetary controls generally, families and physicians gain access to a wider range of federally approved vaccines affording them a wider range of therapeutic choices.
Immunization Benefits: Next to clean drinking water and good nutrition, vaccines have saved more lives than any other public-health intervention in modern history. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that vaccinating every child born in the U.S. from birth to adolescence would prevent 14 million infections, spare 33,000 lives, and save $10 billion in medical costs. (Source: “How Safe Are Vaccines?” by Alice Park, Time, May 21, 2008.)
For more information about the role and progress of the VVPP, please email us at info@VTvaccine.org.