Vaccine changes delayed until January

anda English Burnett

Earlier this year a story was published about changes in the local health department regarding vaccines. The state health department had sent information saying local departments were to no longer give vaccines to people with health insurance. They were to provide vaccines only to under insured and uninsured individuals beginning July 1.

That deadline has been pushed back to January 1, 2012, according to information from local health nurse Vicky Powell. According to Indiana State Health Commissioner Dr. Gregory Larkin, this delay will help with the back-to-school immunization push for children to meet school entry requirements.

He went on to say in many counties local health departments are the primary provider of all immunizations regardless of an individual’s insurance status. This delay ensures that a process will be in place, which allows ready access to immunizations for all individuals while assuring appropriate use of funding sources.

In November, the Indiana State Department of Health will provide implementation instructions to local health departments to assist with appropriate use of publicly funded and privately purchased vaccine supplies. The ISDH is aggressively reviewing various solutions that will support the dedicated efforts of local health departments to deliver immunizations across the communities they support, including both uninsured and insured individuals, according to Dr. Larkin.

Ripley County Health Nurse Powell said she is glad about the change and encourages individuals who need to have their children vaccinated for school this fall to call 689-0506 for an appointment. As it stands now, anyone - with or without insurance - can get a vaccination at the local health department.