Governor John Baldacci today ceremonially signed a new law to expand access to childhood vaccines and reduce the costs of immunizations.

Rep. Gary Connor, D-Kennebunk, sponsored the legislation, which was supported by physicians, health insurers and others.

The law is intended to reduce the cost of immunizations in Maine by working with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to acquire vaccines at the federal contract rate. It also is intended to simplify the distribution and management of vaccines by medical practices, which now must keep separate vaccine stocks for public insurance patients or private insurance patients.

“This law will improve public health and save money,” Connor said.