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Vaccines and Immunizations

Flu Shot Clinics

The CDC recommends getting the vaccine as soon as it is available. Each year, thousands of people die from influenza, and even more require hospitalization.

All people 6 months of age and older should get the vaccine. Influenza can occur at any time, but most influenza occurs from October through May.

It takes up to 2 weeks for protection to develop after the vaccine has been given and protection lasts about a year. Insurance cards or payments are needed at the time of vaccination. Most insurance cards accepted.

Children under 18 years of age who present a Medicaid card or are uninsured will receive the vaccination at no charge through the Vaccines for Children program

Vaccines for Children Program (VFC)

Through the VFC program, public purchased vaccines are available at no charge to enrolled public and private health care providers for eligible children.

Which children are eligible?

Children 18 years of age and under that meet at least one of the following criteria are eligible for VFC vaccine:

  • Medicaid eligible
    A child who is eligible for the Medicaid program (in some States, children who are <1 year of age are automatically entitled to Medicaid benefits if their mother is enrolled)
  • Uninsured
    A child who has no health insurance coverage
  • American Indian or Alaska Native
    As defined by the Indian Health Services Act
  • Underinsured
    A child whose health insurance benefit plan does not include vaccinations or children whose health insurance covers only select vaccines or caps the vaccine cost at a certain limit

Insurance accepted:

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Which children are NOT eligible?

Children whose health insurance covers the cost of vaccinations are not eligible for VFC program benefits, even when a claim for the cost of the vaccine and its administration would be denied if submitted to the insurance carrier for payment, because the plan’s deductible had not been met.

The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), known as Title XXI, enabled States to expand health insurance coverage for uninsured children. Title XXI children enrolled in a separate State children's health insurance program (S-SHIP) are not VFC-eligible because they are neither Medicaid-eligible nor uninsured as required under Title XIX. However, Title XXI children enrolled in a Medicaid Expansion (M-SHIP) are Medicaid eligible and entitled to VFC program benefits.

Insurance not accepted:

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My child is behind on their shots. Can they still get VFC vaccine?

Yes, absolutely. It doesn’t matter how far behind your child is in receiving their shots. Call or visit us to discuss how your child can be brought back up to date.

My child is healthy. Can I just wait until school age to get them vaccinated?

No. This is a bad idea. Many of the immunizations that children need today are intended for very young children in their first months of life. This is when children are most at risk for contracting vaccine-preventable diseases. Thus, waiting for when your child starts school to vaccinate them can be very dangerous to their health.


For parents, the best way to ensure your child's good health is to try to prevent illness before it starts. The best way to prevent a number of serious illnesses is to make sure your children receive appropriate immunizations. In most cases, these vaccines are given as shots and several shots are needed for full protection. Every state requires proof of immunization before a child can start school. In some cases, Iowa immunization laws permit exemptions, for medical or religious reasons. Your Doctor, Physician's Assistant or Nurse Practitioner will talk with you about childhood immunizations or you can call us at 641-394-4053 if you have any questions.

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