Senators Edward M. Kennedy and John F. Kerry today announced that $4.2 million in federal funds will be made available for child immunization in Massachusetts by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
"Far too many children across our Commonwealth fail to obtain the vaccinations they need, and a needless burden is imposed on doctors and hospitals," said Senator Kennedy. "Prevention of illness is a fundamental public health issue, and this funding will help many more children receive the timely immunizations they need and deserve."
"No parent wants their child to go without the disease-preventing immunizations that help keep them safe. This investment will help thousands of kids get the vaccines that will keep them healthy. I am grateful that President Obama knows how important it is to give every child a safe, healthy start in life," said Senator Kerry.
It's estimated that 19 percent of preschool-age children in Massachusetts have not received the childhood vaccines recommended by the Federal Government and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Senator Kennedy and Senator Kerry have worked together over the years to increase childhood immunization in Massachusetts and the nation. The current federal Vaccines for Children Program purchases pediatric vaccines for all Medicaid-eligible, uninsured, under-insured and Native American children, and also provides funding for the immunization operations and infrastructure necessary to implement an effective immunization program at the federal, state, and local levels. For more information on the program, please visit: www.cdc.gov