US President Bill Clinton's Vaccine for Children (VFC) initiative, which aims to have vaccinated 90 per cent of America's children by the age of two, is foundering.
The General Accounting Office has criticized the programme, and two congressional hearings have also voiced their concerns. As a result, the start-up date of 1 October has been delayed.
Critics of the programme say it is far too complicated and expensive to implement. To get a child vaccinated, a doctor's request for the drug must pass through five levels of approval and distribution before it arrives at his surgery.
The bureaucratic tangle could also mean the final bill could be $10 per shot more than is currently charged under Medicaid.
!AJAMA, 24 August 1994.