What is VFAAR?
The Vaccines for Adults at Risk (VFAAR) Program makes vaccine available to select providers serving adults at high-risk for vaccine preventable diseases. The adult immunization program started in 1994, targeting at-risk adults in shelters with Hepatitis A & B, influenza, and Td vaccines. The program has since expanded to include more community partners and vaccines, but still has the goal of serving the mostly medically at-risk adults in Philadelphia.
As of March 2013, VFAAR had 59 facilities enrolled in the program. In 2012, the Philadelphia Immunization Program distributed 13,295 doses of vaccines to VFAAR sites.
VFAAR Program sites include HIV treatment centers, FQHCs, health clinics in methadone maintenance programs, medical clinics that work with social service organizations, family planning, STD clinics and primary care clinics. Philadelphia’s nine Ambulatory Health Service (AHS) Health Centers provide adult immunization to eligible patients with VFAAR Program vaccine.
Looking for specific VFAAR document? Click here for our document, files, and forms list.
Why Should I Enroll in VFAAR?
VFAAR screening of an adult must occur at every visit, and must be documented at every visit. VFAAR eligibility may differ by site. Adults eligible for VFAAR must be:
- Between the ages of 19 and 64 years
- Site-specific requirements
Adults who are Medicaid and Medicare patients, privately-insured adults, or anyone younger than 19 years are not eligible for VFC.
How Does VFAAR Work?
Before you submit the VFAAR Enrollment forms, please ensure that your office meets these qualifications. All VFAAR providers are required to complete VFAAR enrollment forms annually, due each June.
- Serve VFAAR-eligible adult patients (patients age 19 through 64 years, uninsured adults only)
- Have appropriate refrigeration and freezer units (no dorm style units)
- Be able to record vaccine storage temperatures twice a day
- Submit 2 weeks of vaccine storage temperature records before receiving VFAAR vaccine
- Have access to the Internet to order vaccines online
- Electronically report all administered vaccines to PhilaVax
- Agree to and abide by the requirements and regulations described on the VFAAR Enrollment forms
Compliance with ACIP Immunization Schedules
VFAAR providers must comply with current immunization schedules, dosages and contraindications as established by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).
The U.S. Recommended Adult Immunization Schedule indicates the recommended ages for routine administration of currently licensed vaccines for adults older than 18 years. Click here to review the schedule.
Fees & Finance
VFAAR-funded vaccine is supplied free of charge to enrolled providers; however, it does not come without cost to the Philadelphia VFAAR Program. VFAAR vaccine is purchased from manufacturers under contract using federal taxpayer dollars, which is why the VFAAR Program must strictly enforce its policy of holding providers financially responsible for vaccine wasted through negligence.
- Do not charge for VFAAR vaccine
- Do not impose a vaccine administration fee higher than the fee cap established by the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, which is currently $23.14 per vaccine.
- Do not deny immunization services to any VFAAR eligible child even if the parent or guardian is unable to pay the administration fee (applies to non-Medicaid eligible).
The Philadelphia Immunization Program conducts regular site visits of enrolled provider sites to ensure compliance with VFAAR requirements. Providers should expect a site visit at least once per year, but these may occur more frequently. Depending on the type of visit, some preparation may be required of the provider/staff prior to the visit. More information about these visits can be found in the VFAAR Program Manual.
How Do I Order VFAAR Vaccine?
Providers enrolled in the VFAAR Program are responsible for ordering appropriate amounts of vaccine and maintaining proper vaccine inventory. Vaccine needed for a practice is based on the number of VFAAR-eligible adults seen in a practice as reported on the Medical Practice Profile and validated by KIDS Plus IIS.
Newly enrolled and trained providers must order VFAAR vaccine through the KIDS Plus IIS vaccine ordering system. Find more information on that system here.
For providers who are unable to order online, use these paper order forms:
How Do I Manage My Vaccines?
When vaccines are shipped to your clinic, you must mark them received in PhilaVax, and you must immediately store them appropriately. All staff who accept packages should know the importance of immediately storing vaccine, and know who your offices Vaccine Coordinator is.
When you receive a shipment from McKesson or Merck, immediately check the 3M MonitorMark Time Temperature Indicator, TransTracker C FREEZEmarker Indicator and/or ColdMark Freeze Indicator. These will show if the vaccine has maintained proper temperature during shipment.
For additional instructions, see our Accepting Shipments Guide.
Private, VFC, and VFAAR vaccine can’t be used interchangeably – and we’ll verify this during our quality assurance visits to your site.
Clearly label VFAAR vaccine to distinguish it from privately-purchased vaccine. When you receive vaccine shipments, label them as you unpack and store them. You can request VFC stickers at no cost from us on our Materials page.
Storing Vaccines & Monitoring Temperatures
All VFAAR vaccines need to be stored in a precise temperature range – some need to be in the fridge and some need to be in the freezer. In addition, all VFC vaccine must be constantly monitored for correct temperature storage.
Learn more about storing vaccines and maintaining correct temperature ranges on our Temp Check page or within our Complete Storage and Handling Guide.
Managing Vaccine Inventory
Reconciliation means keeping track of your vaccine inventory in PhilaVax – documenting vaccine doses that have been administered, returned, or adjusted due to wastage. You must complete returns or adjustments before your reconciliation; and, you must complete a reconciliation before you can order more vaccine.