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Cuts To Vaccine Program Effects Over 200 Locally

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Tightening of income eligibility for the Wyoming Health Department’s vaccine program means after July 1st some kids will no longer get cost free Flu shots, Hepatitis A, H-P-V and the Menigitis vaccine.

Natrona County Health Department Director Robert Harrington says locally the cuts will effect over 200 kids.

“Based on the kids we did in the last year we would expect about 235 kids to be effected in Natrona County.¬† That’s 235 kids who would have gotten some of those vaccines free and now will have to either pay for them directly or find some other method.”

The health department will, however, continue to provide  free-of-charge all the immunizations required for school attendance. Even so, Harrington says its disappointing knowing that something like the flu is so readily transmitted between children.

“We know that kids under 18 are the largest group of transmitters they’re the ones that catch it and they transmit it around. when they ill, for the past several years the different strains that have been coming around of flu, that get very ill. They have more severe illness then some of the other adults. If you remember a couple years ago with the H1N1 virus it was young people that got the most severe disease.”

The Wyoming vaccination program is paid for with a combination of state and federal money. He says they’ll be working to get funds reinstated. “We’ll be urging the state health department to make a proposal to the legislature to restore some of that funding and have more support for those.”

Harrington says pressure will also be put on to insurance companies to help pay.

About 40 percent of vaccine costs are covered by federal funding.

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