The US government has unveiled a plan to offer a COVID-19 vaccine to all Americans for free as early as January.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Defense jointly released two documents Wednesday outlining the Trump administration’s vaccine distribution strategy amid the coronavirus pandemic. The goal is to deliver safe and effective vaccine doses to sites with “no upfront cost to providers and no expense to the vaccine recipient,” according to a strategic distribution overview.
“No American should pay a single penny out of pocket for a vaccine,” Paul Mango, deputy chief of staff for policy at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said in a call to reporters Wednesday.
Healthcare providers are reimbursed for the cost of administering vaccine doses, but these fees are not borne by patients but are instead paid by commercial insurance companies or Medicaid. For patients who are uninsured, the costs are covered by the administration’s provider assistance fund.
Officials are still ironing out details for the insured through Medicare fee-for-service programs. The most they would have to pay out of pocket would be $ 3.50 per. Shots, “but we’re working on it,” Mango said.
Mango noted that some details of the plan will not be known until a COVID-19 vaccine is approved or approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
“We are dealing with a world of great uncertainty,” he told reporters. “So this is a really quite extraordinary, logistically complex task and a lot of uncertainties right now.”
ABC News’ Sony Salzman contributed to this report.