To participate in the VFC Program, providers agree to:
- Determine each child’s VFC eligibility. (Verification is not required.)
- Maintain documentation of VFC eligibility in each child’s record.
- Follow the Recommended Immunization Schedule as established by state law and CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). (The American Academy of Pediatrics schedule conforms with the ACIP recommendations.) Individual medical judgment, however, may be exercised.
- Not charge for VFC-supplied vaccine. Providers may charge an administration fee of up to $26.03 per VFC vaccine dose administered, as long as they do not deny immunization to a VFC eligible child because the patient cannot pay the fee.
- Provide vaccine information materials as required by law (The law applies to all providers, not just VFC providers).
- Provide services consistent with the National Vaccine Advisory Committee’s Standards for Child and Adolescent Immunization Practices (SCAIP). The provider will periodically meet with a California VFC Representative who will conduct a site visit, called Quality Assurance Review (QAR) to assess the provider’s compliance with the standards and, if needed, offer recommendations.
- Follow VFC guidelines for vaccine storage equipment.
VFC providers are NOT required to:
- Accept children as patients solely because they are eligible for immunization through the VFC Program.
- Become Medi-Cal or CHDP providers.
Quality Assurance Reviews (QAR)
As a condition of participation in the VFC Program, providers are required to allow site visits from authorized representatives of the California VFC Program or the Federal Department of Health and Human Services. These visits are conducted to evaluate immunization service delivery and to review compliance with VFC Program requirements in areas such as ordering procedures, vaccine storage and handling, VFC eligibility screening, and record keeping.
In California, the site visit is called a Quality Assurance Review (QAR) and is conducted by a VFC Representative. During the QAR the VFC rep asks a series of questions based on the National Vaccine Advisory Committee’s Standards for Child and Adolescent Immunization Practices (SCAIP). New VFC providers receive an initial visit from a VFC rep when they enroll in the VFC Program, and subsequent routine visits every 1-2 years thereafter.
When your facility is selected for a site visit, your VFC rep schedules a date and time that is convenient for your practice and sends information to help prepare you for the visit. The rep will discuss his/her findings with you during the visit and, if appropriate, make recommendations about how to improve immunization service delivery. Within two weeks, the rep will send you a written report that identifies any discrepancies from the standards and recommended actions you can take to achieve compliance with the standards. During subsequent visits, the rep will assess whether or not the recommended actions have been implemented. On occasions, program staff may also conduct unannounced visits and do a quick check of vaccine storage units and review temperature log information.