Updated: 7:30 PM PST
As of this month (October) the Center for Disease Control informed the Yuma County Public Health Services District and any other public provider for the program vaccines for children that they can no longer vaccinate insured patients under the age of 18.
"Patients who already have insurance should be receiving their vaccines through their primary care provider or through the pharmacy so wherever their insurance would pay for those vaccines. They already have a payment source is believe the justification is from the CDC,” said Leigh Ann Howell, Nursing Supervisor for YCPHS.
Already having a payment source is one reason but cuts in the health system is another. The Yuma County Public Health Services Department only vaccinates about four percent of young patients with insurance through the “Vaccines for Children” program. "Most of our patients are on ACHHS, are under-insured, uninsured, and a couple Kids Care and a couple Native American. Those all still qualify for the vaccines," said Howell.
Howell says there are a number of reasons why patients would come to them instead of their primary care doctor. “My best guess as to why I would bring my child here is because it's a ten dollar flat fee and your vaccines are all included,” said Howell.
She says this is a temporary issue and things may change once President Obama's Affordable Care Act goes into effect in 2014.