updated 5/10/2010 1:13:19 PM ET 2010-05-10T17:13:19

Supporters of a public health bill enacted during this year's legislative term say it will expand access to vaccines for Maine children and reduce costs of immunizations.

Gov. John Baldacci on Monday ceremonially signed the bill as its sponsors and supporters looked on.

The law will reduce the cost of immunizations by working with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to leverage the contract prices for vaccines at the federal rate. The cost of the program will be covered by an assessment on health insurance carriers and third-party vaccination administrators.

The bill's sponsor, Democratic Rep. Gary Connor of Kennebunk, says it took work to build consensus among doctors, advocates and insurance companies to pass the bill.

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