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You are here : Providers  >  Vaccines for Children

Vaccines for Children

The Snohomish Health District manages the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program for
Snohomish County. The federal VFC program provides no cost vaccines for children
who might not otherwise be immunized. Providers may charge an administration fee,
but they do not charge for the vaccine itself.

Becoming a Vaccines for Children provider has benefits for both patient care and
professional practice, including:

  • Knowledge of a child’s immunization status when treating them for other reasons
  • Children have fewer missed opportunities for vaccination
  • Current information about vaccines and vaccine-preventable diseases
  • Information about new vaccines, schedules, and vaccine supply issues
  • Assistance in measuring, promoting, and achieving high immunization coverage
    rates in your practice
  • Assistance managing vaccine storage, handling, and administration
  • Staff training, including technical assistance on inventory management      

Becoming a Vaccines for Children provider

To learn more about becoming a Vaccines for Children provider, see the following
resources or contact the Snohomish Health District.

Educational opportunities for VFC providers

  • Vaccines for Children providers will be visited every other year by Snohomish Health
    District or Washington Department of Health personnel to ensure that VFC policies
    are followed.  
  • You Are the Key to HPV Cancer Prevention online independent study course.  Covers
    understanding the burden of HPV disease, the importance of the HPV vaccine
    recommendation, and communicating about HPV vaccination.  Continuing Medical
    Education credit available. 
  • There Never Was An Age of Reason-Vaccines, Vaccine Hesitancy, and Vaccine Decision Making presented by Dr. Edgar K. Marcuse, Emeritus Professor, Pediatrics, University of Washington. This online learning module explores the origins, history, current status, and impact of vaccine hesitancy on vaccination rates and disease outbreaks across Washington State and beyond.  This activity is free of charge, but registration is required.  The course, designed for nurses, medical assistants, pharmacists, physicians, health educators, public health staff, and other health professionals who work in the immunization field, is approximately one hour in length. A certificate is available upon completion.

Forms and resources for vaccine storage, handling, and administration

Overview of VFC provider responsibilities

  • Comply with immunization schedules established by the Advisory Committee on
    Immunization Practices (ACIP) and as dictated by Washington State Department
    of Health (DOH) Guidelines
  • Immunize eligible children with publicly supplied vaccine at no charge for the vaccine
  • Screen and document eligibility for the VFC program - Medicaid, uninsured,
    American Indian/Alaskan native
  • Charge only the approved administrative fee of  $23.44 per dose or less for VFC
    eligible children
  • Provide the current Vaccine Information Statement (VIS) on each vaccine administered
    to parent or guardian
  • Not deny administration of vaccine to an established patient because of inability to
    pay the administration fee
  • Comply with requirements for ordering, accountability and vaccine management 
  • Have equipment for safe storage and monitoring - refrigeration and thermometers
  • Designate and ensure training for a Vaccine Coordinator (PDF) and backup staff person

Vaccine storage incidents and excursions

An excursion occurs when a vaccine is exposed to a temperature out of the acceptable
range for that vaccine. It is the total amount of time or cumulative time out of
range that determines viability of the vaccine. When you notice the excursion, place all of the involved vaccine in a bag, label it
“DO NOT USE” and place it in a unit with the appropriate temperature range.

Immediately report vaccine excursions to Snohomish Health District's Vaccine
Coordinator Kelly Barrows at 425.339.8625 or 425.231.6574 (cell). Follow-up with an email addressed to SHD staff will contact the manufacturer(s) and call back with further instructions.

If any of the vaccine is to be wasted, complete a Vaccine Incident Report and Return Form and return it with all unopened vials of vaccine to the SHD Vaccine Coordinator.  To dispose of opened vials, discard per clinic policy. 

Viable vaccine can still be used, but is to be marked "compromised".  If it is involved in another excursion, the process, as outlined above, is repeated, but the SHD Vaccine Coordinator needs to be informed that this is a second excursion for this vaccine.  Do not waste any vaccine unless advised by SHD staff. 

Promoting vaccination to parents

The Immune Booster newsletter

A newsletter is mailed electronically to Snohomish County Vaccines for Children
providers and immunization partners in Washington state 3 times each year.  The
Immune Booster is an important source of updated information regarding vaccine
storage, handling, administration, and policy.  The newsletter is authored by the
Vaccine-Preventable Disease Community Program team to support health care
professionals working to prevent disease by promoting vaccination.  The most
recent issue of The Immune Booster are posted below:

The Immune Booster Newsletter March 2017 (PDF)
The Immune Booster Newsletter Winter 2015 (PDF)
The Immune Booster Newsletter Spring 2015 (PDF)

Contact us

Vaccines for Children

Kelly Barrows
Vaccine Coordinator

Susan Babcock
Public Health Nurse

Mary O'Leary
Health Educator

Rita Mell
Program Supervisor

Susan Ingram
Program Assistant
Did you know?

There are 86 Snohomish County provider offices and clinics that participate in the Vaccines for Children Program .