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October 18, 2009 9:48 AM   Subscribe

I have a question about childrens' flu vaccines and insurance.

I have two kids, one I gave birth to and one I have shared custody with his mother. My birth son is under my husband's insurance. My other one is under the NJ Family Care provided for kids without medical insurance (my husband's insurance refuses to cover him because it's shared custody and his mother has no insurance herself.)

This weekend my husband took the boys to the pediatrician for required school vaccines, one of which was the standard flu vaccine. My birth son's appointment was first and my husband was told there was no available flu vaccines. He said okay and went to reschedule the older one's appointment since he needed that too.

But the doctor said no that there was a flu vaccine for him because he was NJ Family Care. That she wasn't giving the vaccine to kids with insurance, just the ones on state insurance.

Can she do that? Is it legal to do that?
posted by FunkyHelix to Health & Fitness (3 answers total)
If the state has provided those vaccinations, at their cost, I would imagine that it is indeed legal and that she has no choice but to comply.
posted by cooker girl at 10:34 AM on October 18, 2009

Best answer: My understanding of this is kind of limited, but: Providers get what's called "Vaccines for Children" vaccine which is federally provided for children meeting certain criteria (e.g. uninsured). States can expand the group that is eligible by using other federal funds ("section 317"). Vaccine purchased/received under either program can only be used for people who qualify for that program. So I'm guessing your provider has received VFC vaccine but (like many practices) has had a holdup in getting shipments of regular influenza vaccine. Many places are having the opposite problem (commercial supplies have arrived but VFC has not). Either way it's frustrating for all parties.
posted by lakeroon at 1:11 PM on October 18, 2009

That's what my pediatrician said, too.

Lakeroon is correct.
posted by FergieBelle at 4:56 PM on October 18, 2009

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