CDC adds Covid shots to list of routine vaccines for kids and adults
- It puts the shot alongside vaccines for diseases such as polio and measles
- CDC epidemiologists said it would help to “normalize” vaccines for Covid
- But it does not mean the shots will be required by schools for pupils to attend
Covid shots have officially been added to the list of routine immunizations for kids and adults.
Officials said the move would ‘normalize’ the vaccine and ‘send a powerful message’ that everyone over six should stay up to date with their Covid vaccines.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) implemented the move today after independent vaccine advisors proposed the changes.
It puts the shot in the same category as vaccines for diseases such as polio, measles and hepatitis B.
But it is not a mandate, and unlike those shots, children who do not get it will not be restricted from schools.
Officials said the move would ‘normalize’ the vaccine and ‘send a powerful message’ that everyone over six should stay up to date with their Covid vaccines
It comes as the FDA are considering switching the Covid vaccine rollout to a yearly schedule similar to the flu shot program.
The CDC has added a two or three-dose primary series of the Covid vaccine and a booster for people over the age of 19 to the schedule, and the same for children over six months.
Dr Neil Murthy and Dr A Patricia Wodi, epidemiologists at the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said in a statement reported by CNN: ‘This means Covid-19 vaccine is now presented as any other routinely recommended vaccine and is no longer presented in a special “call out” box as in previous years.
‘This, in a sense, helps “normalize” this vaccine and sends a powerful message to both healthcare providers and the general public that everyone ages six months and older should stay up to date with recommended Covid-19 vaccines (including a booster, when eligible), just as they would with any other routinely recommended vaccine.’
US government contracts with vaccine makers Moderna and Pfizer are due to end this year, leading the companies to quadruple the price of the shots.
While Americans will not actually pay this hike out-of-pocket, premiums all round will still be pushed up.
Americans can expect to pay around $130 for Moderna’s vaccine, which is estimated to cost just $1.18 to make, representing a 10,000 percent markup. The vaccine is currently sold for around $26 a dose.
Moderna – which turned an estimated $39bn in profit last year – benefitted from a multi-billion-dollar taxpayer-funded support package for designing and testing its Covid shot as part of the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed.
The subsidized shots have thus far been free for all Americans regardless of whether they have health insurance.
And while insured Americans likely won’t see a difference when they go to get the shots, those without coverage will be saddled with a high price.
Insurance premiums will cover the price hike, meaning Americans will not actually pay out-of-pocket, but it will still push up premiums all around.