Keiser bill revives state vaccine program for kids

Senate Bill 6263, sponsored by Sen. Karen Keiser, D-Kent, finalizes an agreement reached by key stakeholders to continue providing children in Washington with easy access to needed immunizations. In 2009, the Legislature abandoned the universal purchase program- ending it May 1, 2010- because of the budget deficit and vaccine prices.

For the past 10 months, a work group comprised of representatives from insurance carriers, pediatricians, children’s advocacy groups, staff from the Legislature, governor’s office, Department of Health and DSHS have met to develop an alternative method of assuring coverage for all children in the state. After considerable effort, the group appears to have come to agreement.

The bill represents a successful collaborative effort by the private and public sectors benefiting children in the state.

“They have succeeded in coming together for a very good proposal, and I urge your support,” said Keiser shortly before the floor vote.

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