Updated COVID vaccine to be available to all regardless of insurance status, ODH says

The CDC has created the Bridge Access Program to help uninsured adults receive the updated...
The CDC has created the Bridge Access Program to help uninsured adults receive the updated vaccine.(MGN)
Published: Sep. 14, 2023 at 1:25 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - The Director of the Ohio Department of Health says the updated COVID-19 vaccine will be available to all Ohioans, including those who do not have insurance.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended the vaccine on Sept. 12 for anyone ages 6 months or older who have not received the vaccine in the past two months. ODH says supplies of the vaccine should be available to providers by the end of the week.

“If you have medical insurance, and that includes Medicare or Medicaid, vaccines should be covered as a preventive health service, which means you likely will have no out-of-pocket costs,” said Dr. Vanderhoff. “Those without insurance can take advantage of several programs to ensure they can continue to get free vaccines, as well.”

According to ODH, the federal government allowed the COVID-19 public-health emergency status to expire in May, which meant the government would no longer be the sole supplier of vaccines. Due to this, providers are now purchasing the vaccine from manufacturers on the commercial market.

“As we head into fall and winter, which typically are when we see increases in respiratory viruses, it is important that Ohioans keep up with their vaccines,” Dr. Vanderhoff said.

ODH says it will continue to offer vaccines free of charge to eligible children, including those who are uninsured, through the federal Vaccines for Children program.

For uninsured adults, the CDC has created the Bridge Access Program. As part of the program, the CDC has contracted with CVS, Walgreens and eTrue North pharmacies to allow them to continue offering free COVID-19 vaccinations to those who do not have insurance. The Bridge Access Program will remain in effect until the end of 2024. To find providers participating in this program, click here.

To see the CDC’s complete recommendations for COVID-19 vaccines, click here.

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