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Expect high COVID-19 vaccine costs when federal support ends

Published: Thursday, December 22, 2022 - 3:30pm
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Arizona currently lags the nation’s already low 14% booster rate and faces one of this winter’s worst COVID-19 outbreaks.

Now, an editorial in the journal JAMA Health Forum warns of an impending condition looming in the new year: sticker shock.

The editorial is based on a Kaiser Family Foundation report.

The federal government’s bulk purchasing program, which sped vaccine progress, guaranteed markets for drug companies and put free shots in American arms, will soon end.

When it does, Pfizer and Moderna boosters will cost three to four times what they do now, or $12 to $15 billion to vaccinate half of U.S. adults.

People with insurance or Medicare Part B will likely see little change, but a price per dose of $82 to $130 plus fees could pose a barrier for everyone else.

Experts also raised deep concerns about losing access to COVID-19 treatments and tests as federal supplies dwindle.

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