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New York Governor Paterson announced this week that state insurance companies are required to cover seasonal flu and swine flu, or novel H1N1 virus, vaccinations. To be sure, he said the State Child Wellness Law required that New York insurers cover the vaccines, not subject to co-payment, co-insurance, or annual deductible for youth ages 19 and younger.
The State Child Wellness Law mandates insurance coverage for vaccines that the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends. And its not much of a surprise that the ACIP recommended vaccines for both the swine flu as well as the seasonal flu this year. The state is anticipating delivery of shipments of the vaccine to the state by late Sep
Is the Big Apple ready for flu season?
Governor Paterson hopes so. The swine flu first broke out in New York in April 2009 and began to spread within the state and beyond its borders. Since then, the governor has been steadily taking steps so New York can weather any future outbreaks of H1N1. Earlier in the summer, the state governor kicked off a statewide tour of town hall meetings regarding the swine flu and how local officials and the public can react, respond, and prevent spread of H1N1.
The Governor made clear that the swine flu vaccine is available to all children in the state under 19, including uninsured children--who can access free immunizations through the Vaccines for Children program administrated by counties.
Will other states follow suit?
Now that swine flu vaccines are close to being ready for market, other states may follow New York's example in encouraging vaccination of youth through laws requiring insurers to cover the vaccines or through state subsidization of the vaccines. With flu season around the corner and swine flu on the loose, the race is on to ensure that the country and world are ready.