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Understanding the CDC and VFC: The Programs and Their Requirements

CDC and VFC Requirements



CDC requirements make headlines every day. But what makes this organization and their regulations so respected and important? This article will dissect the fundamentals of the CDC and give a basic overview of one of its leading programs—the VFC (Vaccines for Children) campaign.


Let’s take a look.


What is the CDC?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is a public health agency that seeks to protect the world from both national and international health threats. The American public often references the CDC for health advice as well as health ordinances bound by law. Health organizations all over the country look to the CDC as the overarching standard for national health.


What Does the CDC Do?

The efforts of the CDC are broad and multi-faceted, but you can summarize what they do by saying they research, report, and respond to health crises in America and worldwide. In line with this purpose, the CDC produces rules and regulations to protect citizens from health threats. The CDC works in conjunction with Congress to implement laws passed by Federal Regulations.


Along with these duties, the CDC is responsible for huge amounts of research to promote healthy communities, study diseases and unpack known causes of death and their cures. The USA is home to over 200 CDC laboratories for research alone.


The Expanse of the CDC

The Counsel on Foreign Relations (CFR) sheds some light on the expanse of the CDC by stating they have a “workforce of over twenty thousand people across more than sixty countries.”1 Clearly, the expanse of the CDC reaches beyond American soil. The CFR also reveals that in a single year the agency’s budget was an estimated $12 billion. A major segment of that budget goes to providing vaccines for children across America.


We’ll look at that next.


What is the VFC program?

The VFC (Vaccines for Children) program is a massive sector of the CDC, claiming around $5 billion dollars annually. According to the CFR, the VFC “provides free vaccinations to children whose families are uninsured, underinsured, on Medicaid, or are members of an indigenous group—about half of all children in the United States.”2


That’s tens of millions of kids.


In essence, the VFC program provides federally funded vaccines to children who otherwise would not be able to pay for their inoculations. The CDC distributes these vaccines throughout the country for use in local and public health agencies. These initiatives seek to prevent childhood diseases and health threats from children who otherwise might be vulnerable.


VFC Requirements

VFC providers are under obligation to comply with the CDC’s vaccine storage guidelines as pertains to vaccine temperatures, storage, and administration. These guidelines seek to minimize the handling errors that normally generate millions of dollars of vaccine waste. What specific requirements do VFC providers need to adhere to?


Below is a brief overview of some of the expected VFC requirements when it comes to vaccine handling:


  • VFC providers must employ TMDs (temperature monitoring devices) such as digital data loggers to regulate vaccine temperatures at all stages—whether in transit or storage.
  • VFC providers are recommended or required to use buffered temperature probes if purchased by a state or local vaccination program.
  • VFC providers must utilize easy-to-read temperature displays on the exterior of each cold storage unit.
  • VFC providers are required to record the temperatures of vaccine units daily.


More VFC requirements may be in place for each state program. Be sure to reference your local vaccination program for individualized requirements.



In summary, the CDC and VFC output massive efforts for national and worldwide health. Both the CDC and VFC require specialized equipment to store vaccines and medical contents. As you encounter and participate with CDC and VFC programs, be sure your medical equipment meets their seal of approval.


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American Biotech Supply offers a full range of professional cold storage equipment designed to meet CDC and VFC Standards. Explore today. ABS | American Biotech Supply




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