Kids in Illinois aren’t getting their vaccines, at least many of them, according to a new report. Statistically, this is a trend towards skipping vaccinations, but it isn’t possibly derived from any anti-vaccine sentiment, rather, cost.
The 131,000 children are part of the Children’s Health Insurance Program, according to the Chicago Tribune. This is a federal and state program intended to help those families with low-income status get access to vaccines. These would be families who make more than the Medicaid required limit but are unable to afford any private insurance program.
But here’s where things go wrong: the state requires that any doctors who vaccinate a child under the CHIP program must pay for the vaccines up front and bill the state later (source). This means tremendous upfront cash for doctor offices which may not have enough. So they are passing on vaccinating the kids.
The state of Illinois plans to remove all of these kids from class by October 15th unless they can produce a valid waiver.
If the doctors have to cover the costs of the vaccines, it seems it severely depletes their vaccination push intensity level. At the same time, it doesn’t seem to slow the state’s harsh penalty of kicking children out of school from occurring.