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Abstract

Section 317 of the Public Health Services Act is a federal program that provides funds for the purchase of vaccines. These annual Congressional allocations fluctuate from year to year as Congress responds to changes in national needs for immunizations. The Affordable Care Act requires first dollar coverage of immunizations and other preventive care, allowing a reduction in federal funding for vaccine purchase and a reallocation of funds to other uses such as infrastructure development. In fiscal year 2013, Section 317 rules redefined the population eligible for immunization with Section 317 purchased vaccines. In Tennessee, the response was a policy change that redefined the population who would receive immunizations at health departments.