Home News Coronavirus US: Vaccine will be free to 'vulnerable' poor

Coronavirus US: Vaccine will be free to 'vulnerable' poor

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Trump administration will make eventual coronavirus vaccine free to ‘vulnerable’ frontline workers, elderly Americans and people with underlying conditions who cannot afford the shot

  • On Tuesday, a Trump administration official pledged that the coronavirus vaccine will be free for Americans who can’t afford it
  • Some commercial insurance companies are allegedly ‘eager’  to cover the cost of the jab without a co-pay, the official said.
  • A ‘tiered approach’ will be used to prioritize who gets the jab including frontline healthcare workers, the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions
  • The government’s fast track plan for a vaccine, Operation Warp Speed, hopes to produce 300 million doses  by January 2021
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

The Trump administration has pledged to make the future coronavirus vaccine free for those who can’t afford it.

‘For any American who is vulnerable, who cannot afford the vaccine and desires the vaccine, we will provide it for free,’ a senior official said during a call with reporters on Tuesday.

This includes those considered poor in addition to frontline healthcare workers, the elderly and people with pre-existing conditions.

The official said the administration is also currently working with insurance companies, some of whom have expressed ‘eagerness’ to cover the cost of the immunization without a co-pay.  

On Tuesday, a Trump administration official pledged that the coronavirus vaccine will be free for Americans who can't afford it. Pictured: Trump speaks during a roundtable about America's seniors, in the Cabinet Room of the White House, June 15

On Tuesday, a Trump administration official pledged that the coronavirus vaccine will be free for Americans who can’t afford it. Pictured: Trump speaks during a roundtable about America’s seniors, in the Cabinet Room of the White House, June 15

A 'tiered approach' will be used to prioritize who gets the jab including frontline healthcare workers, the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions. Pictured: A lab technician extracts a portion of a COVID-19 vaccine candidate during testing at the Chula Vaccine Research Center, run by Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand, May 2

A ‘tiered approach’ will be used to prioritize who gets the jab including frontline healthcare workers, the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions. Pictured: A lab technician extracts a portion of a COVID-19 vaccine candidate during testing at the Chula Vaccine Research Center, run by Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand, May 2

‘We will work with them to get the vaccines distributed through the typical channels that they use’ including pharmacy chains and doctors’ offices, the official said.   

‘Our role in the federal government is to ensure anyone who is vulnerable, who can not afford it and desires it gets it.’ 

Under the CARES Act, which was passed by Congress in March 2020, vaccine are considered a ‘preventive health service.’

This means that insurance companies are required to cover the full price without cost-sharing, co-pays or deductibles. 

The official did not specify what metrics a person would have to meet before they are deemed unable to afford it.

However, they said frontline healthcare workers and high-risk individuals such as elderly people and those with underlying health conditions would be prioritized.

They did acknowledge that it’s possible not everyone who wants the vaccine will be able to get it right away.   

‘That critical infrastructure and essential workers get it, that those associated with national defense, get it, and that’s our obligation,’ the official said.

It comes as the government pushed full speed ahead with Operation Warp Speed, a plan to fast-track coronavirus vaccine candidates in America. 

All types of vaccines and candidates are being considered except those being made in China. 

The team hopes to have 100 million doses ready in November 2020 and an additional 200 million by January 2021.  

The US Department of Health and Human Services also said it is now offering financial support to just seven candidates, down from 14. 

Earlier this month, President Donald Trump said the US has already produced two million doses of a vaccine that are ‘ready to go’ as long as it’s proven safe and effective.

In the US, there are more than 2.1 million confirmed cases of the virus and more than 116,000 deaths.

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