Uninsured individuals in the United States can now access the latest Covid-19 vaccines at no cost through certain vaccination sites following recent regulatory approvals. Both Pfizer and Moderna have updated their vaccines, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended these updated shots for all Americans aged 6 months and older.
To locate vaccination sites offering the new vaccines at no cost, individuals can use the federal government’s Vaccines.gov search tool. This platform also includes a filter for identifying locations participating in the Biden administration’s Bridge Access Program, which aims to provide free Covid-19 vaccines and treatments to uninsured individuals until December 2024.
Previously, the federal government purchased Covid-19 vaccines directly from manufacturers at discounted rates and distributed them for free to all Americans. However, with the expiration of the U.S. Covid-19 public health emergency, vaccines are shifting to the commercial market, with manufacturers selling them directly to healthcare providers at a cost exceeding $120 per dose.
While the majority of Americans can access the new vaccines at no cost through private insurance or government programs like Medicare, the Bridge Access Program seeks to address the needs of approximately 30 million uninsured individuals.
Using Vaccines.gov, patients can enter their zip code and vaccine preferences, along with their age group, to find nearby vaccination sites. The newly approved Pfizer and Moderna vaccines target the XBB.1.5 variant, while older versions and the Novavax vaccine are also available. Uninsured patients can schedule appointments directly with participating pharmacies, such as CVS and Walgreens, and are not required to show identification cards.
This initiative aims to ensure widespread access to Covid-19 vaccines for uninsured individuals as part of ongoing efforts to combat the pandemic.