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Medicare may not cover coronavirus vaccine costs: report

Brittany De Lea
·1 min read

Millions of older Americans may not be able to receive a coronavirus vaccination cost-free unless the government takes action.

A vaccine approved for emergency use would not be covered through the program, which does not cover drugs approved via emergency authorizations, The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.

The administration recently realized that these people may be faced with out-of-pocket costs for the vaccine, which the government intended to make cost-free, sources familiar with the matter told The Journal.

The White House is considering asking Congress to change language in the CARES Act to ensure coverage, but there are reportedly concerns over whether that process would be completed in time.

TRUMP SAYS PFIZER TAKING 'TREMENDOUS FINANCIAL RISK' IN CORONAVIRUS VACCINE DEVELOPMENT

A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services did not immediately return FOX Business’ request for comment.

Medicare covers individuals aged 65 and over, and younger people with disabilities.

Emergency use authorizations are used to speed up the approval process. Whether such an authorization should be used has become a point of contention for a potential coronavirus vaccine as safety and efficacy remain a priority.

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More than 60 million people are covered by Medicare, according to The Kaiser Family Foundation.

President Trump has said that a vaccine may be available before the end of the year, potentially even in October.

AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Moderna are in the final phases of clinical trials.

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