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Policy change limits options for TRICARE children needing vaccines

GOWEN FIELD, BOISE, Idaho --
Due to recent changes in federal funding for the Vaccine for Children program, children insured solely by TRICARE will no longer receive shots through the state-funded supply.

If this policy change, which went into effect Oct. 1, applies to your family, you will likely no longer be going to your clinic for your child's vaccinations, unless that clinic chooses to purchase vaccines from the private market and bill TRICARE instead of getting them through the state-funded supply.

Your options are now limited to either going to Mountain Home Air Force Base or finding a local pharmacy (see list below). According to 124th Medical Group officials, Air Guard medical personnel at Gowen Field are not credentialed to administer vaccines to civilians.

Local pharmacies providing vaccines to TRICARE children are:
- Rite Aid pharmacies offer all recommended vaccines. Some Rite Aid stores need advance notice of the vaccines to be administered since they do not stock them all and will need to place an order. Rite Aid will vaccinate children of any age, however, children younger than three years of age will need a prescription from their doctor.

- Wal-Mart & Sam's Club pharmacies provide most vaccines needed for children ages four and older and have vaccines readily available. No prescription is necessary, however, Wal-Mart and Sam's Club will not vaccinate children under the age of four.

- Other pharmacies such as Kmart and Albertson's (Savon) may only vaccinate children ages twelve and older.

- Walgreens currently does not accept TRICARE