Healthcare providers who wish to receive vaccine from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) Immunization Division must enroll each year. The Enrollment Cover Letter (PDF) l (DOC) and the Agreement to Comply with Federal and State Requirements For Participation in the MDPH Immunization Division (DOC) gives an overview of the enrollment process and requirements.
Here are the requirements for enrolling in the MDPH Immunization Division’s Vaccine Program:
- Each provider must read the Guidelines for Compliance with Federal Vaccine Administration Requirements (PDF) l (DOC) annually.
- Create a Vaccine Management Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for your practice. A sample SOP (PDF) l (DOC) can be downloaded and adapted to your practice as needed.
- Read the Restitution Policy (PDF) l (DOC) to fully understand your practice’s responsibility in the event of a vaccine loss.
- MDPH requires all pediatric practices (any site that administers at least some vaccine to those <19 years of age, excluding flu only sites) to have pharmaceutical grade refrigerators for all refrigerated vaccine storage units and standalone freezers for all frozen vaccines in their facility as stated in the Pharmaceutical Grade Refrigerator Requirements resource.
- Both the Vaccine Coordinator and Back-up Vaccine Coordinator for pediatric practices must have documentation of an Annual Vaccines for Children (VFC) Compliance Training for the current year in order to enroll for the next year. For more information on the Annual Vaccines for Children (VFC) Compliance Training, please see the section below entitled VFC Eligibility.
- Providers must complete detailed information on each vaccine storage unit in the Massachusetts Immunization Information System (MIIS).
If you have any questions about enrolling in the MDPH Immunization Division’s Vaccine Program, please contact the Vaccine Unit at (617) 983-6828.
All pediatric sites enrolled in the MDPH’s Vaccine Program are also automatically enrolled in the federal Vaccines for Children Program (VFC). The VFC Program requires providers to screen anyone less than 19 years of age for VFC eligibility at every immunization visit. The outcome of this screening must be documented and dated. Documentation of VFC eligibility may be captured in hard copy (paper) or through electronic health record (EHR) systems.
Many EHRs have created internal drop-down menus offering several options for VFC eligibility. Unfortunately, some of these options are not appropriate for use in every state, or are not in accordance with VFC standard definitions. To establish consistency, below are the only options that should be selected when documenting VFC eligibility in Massachusetts.
- VFC Eligible – Medicaid: a child eligible for MassHealth or Medicaid, including Medicaid HMOs. This category may be selected even if the child has MassHealth or Medicaid as their secondary insurance.
- VFC Eligible – Uninsured: a child with no insurance.
- VFC Eligible – American Indian/Alaskan Native: a child who (or whose parent/guardian) self identifies as American Indian (Native American) or Alaskan Native. Please note that no documentation/verification is required.
- Not VFC Eligible: Any child with private health insurance.
In addition, Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) may also utilize the following option when applicable:
- VFC Eligible – Underinsured: a child with private health insurance that does not cover vaccines.
The use of any other options, including, but not limited to: state specific eligible, local specific eligible, unknown or names of other specific programs is not acceptable in Massachusetts.
The documents Patient Eligibility Screening Form for Federally Qualified Health Centers | (DOC) and Patient Eligibility Screening Form | (DOC) can be used to document VFC eligibility for practices that do not have this capability in their EHR.
If you have any questions about screening and documenting VFC eligibility, please call the Assessment Unit at (617) 983-4330.
Compliance Training Webinar
The Vaccine Coordinator and Back-up Vaccine Coordinator at each pediatric provider receiving vaccines from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) Immunization Division are required to complete an annual VFC Compliance Training.
This training requirement may be fulfilled in a number of ways, including by attending a regionally-based Immunization Update or other programs as indicated. The Immunization Updates are in-person presentations which occur each spring from April to May. Find updated information on the Immunization Division’s events page. A pre-recorded webinar, VFC Compliance Training Webinar, is also available.
In order to receive a certificate of training, register with the 5-digit PIN used to order vaccines. Keep your training certificate on file—it is documentation that you have completed the annual training requirement.