CDC Will No Longer Supply Free COVID-19 Vaccines for Uninsured Adults

Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The Biden Administration will end a program which provides free COVID-19 vaccines to uninsured adults.

On Wednesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that the CDC’s Bridge Access Program for COVID-19 Vaccines will end in August of 2024. The program has provided over 1.4 million free COVID-19 vaccines since September 2023.

“After August, there may be a small amount of free vaccine available through health department immunization programs, but supply would be very limited,” said CDC spokesperson David Daigle “We don’t yet know if the manufacturers will have patient assistance programs.”

In the program’s place, Daigle only offered the promise of the CDC’s Vaccines for Adults proposal, which would provide non-influenza vaccines to 24 million uninsured adults. The public health proposal is currently part of President Joe Biden’s 2025 budget, he said.

“If enacted by Congress, this program would reduce disparities, protect communities from vaccine-preventable diseases, and enhance and maintain the infrastructure needed for responding to future pandemics,” he said.

The decision is a strong reversal for the Biden administration, which previously stated in the run up to the 2020 election that, “No one should pay a dollar out of pocket for coronavirus testing or treatment.”

Over the course of Biden’s presidency, the government has steadily weakened federal COVID-19 restrictions and guidance as a response to a decrease in hospitalizations and deaths, and an increase in so-called herd immunity. In March, the CDC reversed its recommendation that those with COVID-19 undergo a five-day isolation period.

However, health experts say that fewer people are keeping up with updated immunizations, leading to more needless deaths, as Americans of all ages continue to develop debilitating long-term symptoms.

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