The federal government has unveiled a plan to make vaccines for COVID-19 available FREE to all Americans.
In a report to Congress on Wednesday, which included a “playbook” for states and localities – federal health agencies and the Defense Department sketched out plans for a vaccination campaign to begin gradually next January OR possibly late this year, eventually ramping up to reach any American who wants a shot. The Pentagon is involved with the distribution of vaccines – but civilian health workers will be the ones giving shots.
For most vaccines, people will need two doses, 21 to 28 days apart. Double-dose vaccines will have to come from the same drug maker; there could be several vaccines from different manufacturers approved and available.
Initially, there may be a limited supply of vaccines available – and the primary focus will be on protecting health workers, other essential employees, and people in vulnerable groups. A second and third phase would expand vaccination to the entire country.
The vaccine itself will be free of charge, and patients won’t be charged out of pocket for the administering of the shots – thanks to the billions of dollars in taxpayer funds approved by Congress and allocated by the Trump administration. States and local communities will need to devise precise plans for receiving and locally distributing vaccines, some of which will require special handling such as refrigeration or freezing. States and cities have a month to submit plans.