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National News | Statewide News | 01/25/21

What You Need to Know About COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout and Availability

VGA & the Center for Disease Control and Prevention

This article is adapted from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s article, “8 things to know about the U.S. COVID-19 Vaccination Program.”

How much will I have to pay for the vaccine when it’s available for me?

You will not need to pay to be vaccinated—the vaccine is free. Everyone will be able to get the vaccine with no barriers, regardless of financial or insurance status, though administrative fees may apply.

According to the CDC, “vaccine doses purchased with U.S. taxpayer dollars will be given to the American people at no cost; however, vaccination providers may be able to charge administration fees for giving the shot.” If you are uninsured, you will not need to pay any administration fees.

When will I be able to receive a COVID-19 vaccine?

At this time, the supply of COVID-19 vaccines in the U.S. is limited, so a phased rollout approach is being implemented.

Phase 1a

The first rounds of vaccines will only be available for health care personnel and residents of long-term care facilities.

Phase 1b

Next, frontline essential workers (firefighters, police officers, USPS workers, grocery store workers, education professionals, etc.) and people who are 75 years old and above will be eligible to receive the vaccine.

Phase 1c

In phase 1c, people ages 65-74 will be eligible to receive the vaccine along with people ages 16-64 who have underlying medical conditions. Other categories of essential workers (including food service workers, housing construction workers, public health professionals, etc.) will also be eligible to receive the vaccine in this phase.

As vaccine availability increases, vaccination recommendations will expand to include more groups of people.

According to the CDC, “The goal is for everyone to be able to easily get vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as large enough quantities are available. Once [a] vaccine is widely available, the plan is to have several thousand vaccination providers offering COVID-19 vaccines in doctors’ offices, retail pharmacies, hospitals, and federally qualified health centers.”