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posted on April 27, 2009 11:18
Health care professionals will have an opportunity to discuss changes to Idaho’s vaccine program this week at a series of “Shot Smarts” conferences being held around the state by the Idaho Immunization Program.
 
The media is invited to attend the conferences which will be from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at BSU in Boise on Tuesday, at the Shilo Inn in Idaho Falls on Wednesday and at the Coeur d’Alene Inn in Coeur d’Alene on Thursday.
 
The conferences are designed to provide family practice physicians, pediatricians, nurses, and other health care professionals with the latest immunization information and resources. The conferences will include sessions on Idaho’s transition from purchasing vaccines for all children ages 0-18 to one that only covers children who meet federal Vaccines for Children criteria.
 
Beginning July 1, families with insurance coverage will be required to pay insurance deductibles and copays for their children’s vaccinations. The state will continue to provide vaccines for children who are enrolled in Medicaid, who are Alaska Native or Native American, and children who have no health insurance or whose health insurance does not cover vaccines.
 
The Idaho Immunization Program will discuss its plans to work with healthcare providers as they transition to a new system in which they will be responsible for independently ordering vaccines and billing healthcare insurance for vaccinations.
 
Each Shot Smarts conference also will feature keynote address by Dr. William Atkinson, a Medical Epidemiologist in the National Immunization Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
 
Idaho has an immunization rate of 58% which is the lowest rate in the country. Immunizations protect children from life-threatening diseases that can cause permanent health problems, such as brain and heart damage, blindness and even death.
 
Most of the diseases we vaccinate against are very rare in this country due to the success of immunizations. Boosting Idaho’s immunization rate is a top priority of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.
 
For more information or if you would like to schedule an interview with Dr. Atkinson, please contact Andy Noble at (208) 891-8460 by 9 a.m. the morning of the conference.
 
 
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