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State supplied vaccine – frequently asked questions

These are the Frequently Asked Questions regarding state supplied vaccines.

Q:  Who is eligible to receive state supplied vaccine?

A:  State supplied vaccine can be used for all children and adolescents through 18 years of age regardless of their insurance status.

Q:  Can I administer state supplied vaccine to adults?

A: State supplied adult vaccines can only be used for uninsured adults seen at public sector sites (examples include local health department, community health centers, and free community-based clinics, among others).

Q:  What childhood and adolescent vaccines are supplied by MDPH?   

A: As of November 1, 2015, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Immunization Program supplies all routinely recommended (Category A) ACIP vaccines for children and adolescents through age 18. Currently, only Meningococcal B vaccines have a permissive (Category B) ACIP recommendation and state supplied Meningococcal B vaccine can only be used for VFC eligible patients 16-18 years of age. (Please note that state supplied Meningococcal B vaccines are also available for the routine (Category A) recommendation for high risk children and adolescents 10-18 years of age.)

Q: What is a common example of improperly using state supplied vaccine?

A:  The most common example of improper use of state supplied vaccine is administration to an adult 19-29 years of age at a private practice.

Q:  What about adolescents that start a vaccine series at age 18, but the subsequent doses would be administered at age 19 or older?

A:  State supplied vaccine can be administered when the adolescent is 18 years of age, but not 19 years of age or older. For example, if a patient started the three dose series of HPV at 18 years and 9 months, that patient could be given state supplied vaccine at dose 1 and dose 2 (if given at the recommended 1-2 month interval). The third dose at 6 months would fall outside of the state supplied vaccine age limit. The third dose would have to be privately purchased and billed through insurance. (Please note that this example is just a case study, the recommended age for HPV vaccination is 11-12 years old.)

Q: What if the patient is a student 19 years or older and the vaccine is required for school?

A:  State supplied vaccine cannot be administered to the patient, even if the vaccine is required for school entry. The practice would have to stock privately-purchased vaccine for cases like this or refer the patient to a different vaccinator (such as adult primary care provider, pharmacy, or local health department).

Q:  Where can I find more information on state supplied vaccine availability?

A: You can find detailed availability tables on the Vaccine Management page.

Click here for the pdf version of this list as well as contact information.