The government has dropped plans to distribute free vaccine to private doctors who treat needy children in 14 states, including Utah, meaning some won't be able to offer patients free shots until next year.
Under the Vaccines for Children program, the federal government buys vaccine at specially discounted prices for clinics and participating private doctors to give free to any impoverished, uninsured or American Indian or Eskimo child.All public clinics and private doctors in most states have been participating since Oct. 1. But 14 states had no way to get the free shots to private physicians.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention spent seven months negotiating to pay the nation's childhood vaccine manufacturers to make those deliveries. It reached agreement with only one company, CDC Director David Satch-er said Monday.
The frustrated states are forming their own distribution systems, so the CDC is dropping federal delivery plans, Satcher wrote.
Ten states expect private doctors to offer free vaccine before January: Arizona, California, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, New Jersey, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah and Virginia. Four others won't participate until 1996: Colorado, Louisiana, Nebraska and Pennsylvania.