A new booster vaccine for COVID-19, recently approved by the CDC, is now becoming available for everyone who qualifies, including those who do not have health insurance. The United States Department of Health and Human Services, in partnership with the CDC, has launched a program to ensure free COVID-19 vaccination for uninsured individuals.
The CDC recommends the new COVID-19 booster shot for all individuals six months or older who qualify. This includes an estimated 25 to 30 million Americans who are underinsured or who have no health insurance.
Springfield’s Health and Human Services commissioner, Helen Caulton-Harris, emphasizes the importance of immunizations in dealing with the ongoing presence of COVID-19. She states that once the booster shots are available in Springfield, there will be no income requirement for those seeking vaccination. The goal is to keep residents healthy and ensure access for those who are harder to reach.
To maintain access to COVID-19 vaccines for all individuals, regardless of insurance status, the CDC and the United States Department of Health and Human Services launched the bridge access program. This temporary initiative will continue until December 2024.
Pharmacies like Walgreens and West Springfield Pharmacy & Wellness in western Massachusetts are participating in government programs that waive costs for uninsured individuals seeking vaccination. These pharmacies are dedicated to ensuring accessibility and have existing programs, like vaccines for children, which also cover the COVID-19 vaccine for underinsured or uninsured patients. Additionally, uninsured individuals can find locations where the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are available at no cost by visiting the federal government’s website, Vaccines.Gov.
With this new booster vaccine and the efforts being made to provide access to all individuals, regardless of insurance status, the aim is to protect public health and enable coexistence with the virus.
Sources: Western Mass News (WGGB/WSHM)