A nurse helping a family fill out their paperwork before they got their vaccine at one of the past vaccination clinics at Carl Mackley Apartments. (Photo: Lili Daliessio)

Philadelphia, PA – To help ensure that millions of uninsured and underinsured American adults continue to have access to no-cost COVID-19 vaccinations, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) launched the Bridge Access Program for COVID-19 vaccines, set to be active through December 31, 2024.

Program Overview: CDC’s Bridge Access Program

There are an estimated 25-30 million adults without insurance in the U.S. What’s more, there are thousands of adults whose insurance will not cover the cost of COVID-19 vaccines after these products transition to the commercial market later this fall. The pandemic highlighted longstanding barriers people face when it comes to vaccination, including lack of accessibility, availability, and confidence. Under the management and oversight of the CDC, the Bridge Access Program – for a limited time – allow uninsured or underinsured adults to receive free COVID-19 vaccinations. 

“Protecting people from COVID-19 remains a top priority for the CDC,” CDC Director Dr. Mandy Cohen said. “We are partnering with state and local public health agencies, health centers, and pharmacies to ensure that all adults nationwide maintain access to lifesaving COVID-19 vaccines.”

As part of the program, the CDC and its partners will help facilitate the distribution of these vaccines to participating community-based providers, including local health departments and the Health Resources and Services Administration.

(HRSA)-supported health centers. To broaden access, the CDC is also working closely with select national pharmacy chains and vaccine manufacturers to enable uninsured adults to receive free COVID-19 vaccines at participating retail pharmacies.

Here is more specific information to help you understand how this program works.

What is the COVID-19 Bridge Access Program?  

The Bridge Program is a COVID-19 vaccine program for uninsured and underinsured adults 18 years of age and older in the United States, including Philadelphia County.

Who can get a no-cost COVID-19 vaccine through this program?

-Adults who are not covered by any health insurance plan.

-Adults with health insurance but coverage that includes no vaccines.

-Adults with health insurance, but coverage does not include all vaccines recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).

-Adults have health insurance, but there is a fixed dollar limit or cap for vaccines. Where can you get a no-cost COVID-19 vaccine through the Bridge Access Program?

At local health providers who are partnered with the state and local health departments, as well as at HRSA-supported health centers partnered with state and local immunization programs.

In Hunting Park, some local neighborhood pharmacies, such as Smith’s Pharmacy

133 W Hunting Park Avenue. Rite Aid #RA103394 4530 N 5th St.

COVID-19 has not disappeared; getting vaccinated is still the best way to protect yourself and your family from severe illness or death. For those without insurance or proper coverage, getting vaccinated is within reach because of the CDC’s Bridge Access Program.

Visit https://www.vaccines.gov/ to find a provider that offers no-cost COVID-19 vaccines through the Bridge Access Program.

Lili Daliessio is the Community Information Manager at Esperanza Housing and Economic Development.


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