January 27, 12:23 PMSeattle Pharmaceuticals ExaminerTerry Richardson
You may not have known this but until recently Washington State was a universal vaccine state, which meant the state purchased all childhood vaccines and gave them to doctors for free. Doctors then administered the vaccines and billed insurance companies for the cost of giving the shot (not the cost of buying the vaccine).
Due to budget cuts in the state budget for 2009–2011, children with private health insurance are no longer eligible to receive state-supplied HPV vaccine (Gardasil) and must be immunized with HPV vaccine that doctors buy themselves. The vaccine cost to immunize one child with the 3 dose series of HPV vaccine is about $360.
Beginning May 1, 2010, children with private health insurance will no longer be able to receive any vaccine purchased by the state. For the average child, this is equal to 12 different vaccines, given in over 18 years in more than 30 shots.