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State To Cut Vaccines For Health Departments

Due to budget constraints, Massachusetts will cut the number of flu shots and other vaccines it provides to public health departments for communities in need.

There is no vaccine shortage, but the state will cut in half the number of flu shots it buys for health centers. It will also reduce the number of other vaccines, including for hepatitis B and chicken pox.

Framingham Public nurse Kitty Mahoney says the state wants more people to get these shots at the doctor's office because 98 percent of residents are insured.

"I think what the state is trying to do is shift the burden from the state vaccine being the single supplier to public health providers, who provide it at no cost to the public, to the providers," Mahoney said.

The Legislature increased the budget for vaccines this year, but the shots cost more and there's less federal money.

This program aired on August 24, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.

Monica Brady-Myerov Twitter Reporter
Monica Brady-Myerov was formerly a report in WBUR's newsroom.

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