Connecticut pediatricians oppose vaccine purchase bill

The Connecticut Academy of Family Physicians and the Connecticut State Medical Society have opposed a proposed bill that would require all Connecticut physicians to buy most required childhood vaccines through the state.

The plan, which would require physicians to purchase 14 of the 16 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended vaccines through the state, is expected to be discussed in a Tuesday session of the legislature. The bill would only let doctors buy the vaccines privately in case of a shortage, the Hartford Courant reports.

Opponents of the plan have warned that the requirement could lead to a shaky system where children miss necessary vaccinations. Pediatricians in the state currently use a hybrid system in which they can purchase the vaccines privately or through the state.

"The ability of pediatric offices to purchase vaccine privately protects insured children from missing the opportunities to be vaccinated," members of the state's American Academy of Pediatrics, said, according to the Hartford Courant. "To preclude providers from doing so makes no sense."

Anne Foley, the undersecretary for policy and planning for the Office of Policy and Management, said that the mandatory participation stipulation is just one part of the proposed bill. The bill would also increase how many vaccines are available from the state and would give physicians the ability to choose the vaccine brands.