Even though the government’s supply of COVID-19 vaccines is likely to run out this summer or fall, people without insurance will continue to have access, companies that make the shots say.
Moderna pledged Wednesday to make its Spikevax vaccine available at no cost to the uninsured through its patient assistance program.
“Everyone in the United States will have access to Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine regardless of their ability to pay,” according to the statement.
Pfizer, which makes the Comirnaty vaccine with its German partner BioNTech, has already promised that US residents who lack insurance will be covered by its own patient assistance program.
“This is a huge, huge step in the right direction,” Dr. Julie Morita, executive vice president of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, said of the companies’ commitments.
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Morita said late Wednesday she has been concerned that the uninsured, many of whom have been the hardest hit by the pandemic, would be deprived of access to COVID-19 vaccines.
“They’re our frontline workers doing a lot of critical, essential functions in our society,” she said, but they had higher rates of disease and death from the virus.
It’s not clear whether the uninsured would still be responsible for the cost of vaccine administration, which could run about $25 to $40 per dose.
People covered by commercial or government insurance will continue to receive free vaccinations.