Updated COVID-19 vaccines now available at no cost to patients, but confusion reigns in many places




Editor:  Effective September 11, the federal Department of Health & Human Services requires that most health insurers cover the updated COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna without cost sharing from the patient.  Previously, vaccines have been administered at the expense of the federal government. Apparently, many  insurance companies are lagging behind on education and preparation for this new process. Reports of confusion are widespread throughout the country.

All eligible persons who want a vaccine, whether or not they have insurance coverage, should be able to get the vaccine with no out-of-pocket expense.  Here is what you need to know about eligibility and getting your vaccine, at no cost to you.


Mississippi State Department of Health Release:

JACKSON, Miss. — Updated 2023-2024 COVID-19 vaccines are available now, and locations currently offering the updated COVID-19 vaccine can be found on the vaccines.gov website.

  • The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) recommends the updated 2023-2024 COVID-19 vaccines for all individuals 6 months of age and older. Dosing recommendations vary by age, but healthy individuals 12 and older are recommended to get a single dose of the updated COVID-19 vaccine regardless of previous vaccination status.
  • MSDH will begin offering the updated 2023-2024 COVID-19 vaccine for the uninsured and underinsured through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Bridge access program for adults, and the Vaccines for Children program on October 3, 2023. Underinsured individuals are those who have types of insurance which do not cover the cost of the vaccine. These individuals can call 855-767-0170 to schedule an appointment. Individuals with health insurance should locate COVID-19 vaccine providers using vaccines.gov.
  • According to MSDH Interim State Epidemiologist Dr. Kathryn Taylor, getting the flu vaccine is also important this time of year. “Vaccines provide the best protection against infection, hospitalization, or death from respiratory viruses like COVID-19 and influenza,” said Dr. Taylor. “It’s best to get vaccinated before transmission increases to make sure you are protected.”

In New Albany, Baptist Hospital-Union County will be offering free flu shots to those over 18 years of age at its annual Community Health Fair this Thursday, October 5, 2023. County health departments statewide provide flu shots to all children, and to qualifying adults who lack insurance coverage. Additionally flu vaccines are often available at no cost to you through a healthcare provider, urgent care center, job, school, pharmacy, or grocery store, among other places.

Info. on Baptist Health Fair:

Follow MSDH by e-mail and social media at HealthyMS.com/connect.


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