People experiencing unexpected vaccine costs

Published: Sep. 27, 2023 at 11:35 AM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The CDC is urging people to get the latest Covid-19 vaccine with cases on the rise nationally.

Some people are experiencing issues now that it’s been commercialized.

With the vaccine now on the open market, the main issues people are met with at doctors’ offices have to do with insurance or supply and demand.

“What you’re seeing is something that we haven’t really had you experienced before moving from a pandemic organized vaccine response into the commercial market, and we’re doing it very quickly,” Christy Gray said.

Gray is with the Virginia Department of Health and says now that the vaccine is not fully controlled by the U.S. Government, it creates new obstacles for people trying to get it.

“Now the health care provider the pharmacist is purchasing that vaccine to give to the patient and would like to be reimbursed by an insurance company for the purchase of that vaccine,” Gray said.

If insurance companies don’t yet cover the latest vaccine, healthcare providers are left with the decision of giving them out for free or cancelling appointments altogether.

“What you’re seeing is potentially one person’s insurance for whatever reason, isn’t getting updated,” Gray said. “And so now they are the presented with the question of okay, you can pay for it on the spot, or you can check with insurance company rebook your, your vaccine appointment.”

Gray also says pharmacies could run into supply issues leading to more appointments being cancelled.

“That could be at the manufacturer, it could be on the highway, it could be the store had to close for some reason,” Gray said. “It could be that the refrigerator or the freezer lost power. There’s a number of things that can happen along the way that could interrupt whether the supply is available at the particular location, you’re trying to get your vaccine.”

She also says the best way to stay prepares is to contact your doctor with any questions before stepping foot into your doctors office.

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