State Hopes To Add Five Vaccines To Program

The state wants to add five vaccines to a free program for North Carolina children, including the meningitis and cervical cancer vaccines.

The Division of Public Health needs about 36 million dollars to make the vaccines part of the North Carolina Universal Childhood Vaccine Distribution Program. It offers all children access to free vaccines through private doctors and public clinics.

Officials say thousands of children may --not-- be getting newer immunizations because they are --not-- part of the program.

Some doctors are reluctant to offer the vaccines because they could lose money if insurers do --not-- cover the entire cost, which ranges from 80 and 120 dollars a dose retail.

A bill in the General Assembly would authorize the state to impose a new fee on health insurers.