The Vaccine for Children program is a federally funded program that provides free vaccines to children from low-income families, explains the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The children must be uninsured or underinsured, younger than 19 years old and eligible to receive Medicaid.
Through the VCF program, eligible babies, young children and adolescents receive vaccines for up to 16 diseases, according to the CDC. The immunizations must be administered by a health care provider enrolled in the VCF program. Most federally funded health centers and public health clinics employ VCF providers, and many private practitioners are also enrolled in the program. To locate a provider or determine eligibility, individuals can call the CDC's toll-free number and ask for the number to the VCF office in their state.
Some of the diseases that VCF participants receive vaccines for include chickenpox, polio, measles, mumps and hepatitis. If contracted, these diseases can cause long-term illnesses and are potentially life-threatening, according to MedlinePlus. The CDC updates its recommended vaccination schedule once each year, but parents should speak to their VCF provider to discuss the specific immunization schedules for their children. Parents, health facilities and practitioners often keep a vaccination record, which provides a detailed history of all the vaccines the child receives.