The Barry County Health Department Board of Trustees approved an updated immunization policy at its regularly scheduled meeting on Feb. 18.
According to Carol Landstad, Barry County Health Department public health program coordinator, the Missouri Department of Health and Social Services Bureau of Immunization has reported a significant decrease in funding through the federal Vaccine For Children (VFC) program and the State 317 Immunization program.
The federal program is used for children with Medicaid and no insurance. The state program benefits children with insurance and adults who need specific immunizations. Both programs provide the health department with vaccines at no cost.
Due to the cut in funding, children with insurance will be encouraged to receive immunizations from their physician, however no child will be refused a vaccination with state-funded vaccines, said Landstad.
The reduction in funding will also require the health department to limit adult immunizations to adults who work in the healthcare industry. Vaccines will also be given to combat communicable disease outbreaks.
Adult vaccines previously received through state funds include: Tetanus; Tdap; MMR; Polio; Varicella or chickenpox; and Mennigiococcal. The health department also purchases adult Hepatitis A and B, which is available at cost reimbursement.
Adults who need immunizations are encouraged to visit their physicians. If the physician does not provide the vaccine, a prescription can be written so that the adult can purchase the vaccine through their pharmacy. Some pharmacies are now able to administer on-site immunizations.
Vaccinations can also be purchased at a pharmacy and administered by health department staff members. The new immunization policy increases the health department's immunization administration fee from $5 to $10. The fee covers the cost of syringes, sharps disposals and staff time.
With approval of the immunization policy update, the following adult vaccines will be available through the health department: Tetanus Diphtheria, $30; adult Hepatitis A, $32; and adult Hepatitis B, $38. The fees, which include the $10 administration cost, are subject to change with changes in vaccine costs.
In other business the Barry County Health Department Board of Trustees:
* Hired Roger Brock, of the Newton County Health Department, as the Barry County Health Department's new administrator.
* Reviewed the service fees report, which showed that $2,291 in cash service fees were collected in January.
* Approved the monthly service count report. The Cassville office administered 840 services in January, and 667 services were administered at the Monett office last month.
* Reviewed the December Health Education Literacy Project (HELP) report and the January environmental services report. Public health specialists permitted six wastewater systems and conducted 19 routine food inspections and three childcare inspections last month.
* Received an update on the Maternal Child Health, emergency response, CORE Public Health Functions, HELP Grant and American Recovery and Reinvestment Act contracts.