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July 18, 2023Advocacy Matters

Changes to COVID-19 Vaccination Measures

Changes to COVID-19 Vaccination Measures

Disability Matters with Joyce Bender

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

#AdvocacyMatters Segment

Changes to COVID-19 Vaccination Measures

Up until the end of the Public Health Emergency, the public had access to free COVID-19 vaccines and bivalent boosters paid for by the federal government and distributed through a variety of locations, including free vaccination clinics. Over 700 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccines were given to 270 million Americans.

When the Public Health Emergency ended, one of the substantial changes came in the Biden-Harris Administration’s approach to payment and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. Vaccines would now be paid for through insurance and would continue to be made available through pharmacies and primary care offices. Medicaid, Medicare, and private insurance would now be responsible for COVID-19 vaccinations, just as they are for vaccinations like the flu, shingles, and others.

Individuals who are uninsured can still access COVID-19 vaccines through local pharmacies, local health centers, and existing public health infrastructure. The Biden-Harris Administration created a Bridge Access Program to help maintain uninsured individuals’ access to COVID-19 vaccinations through those pathways.

In other vaccination news, an Advisory Committee of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has recommended changes to the fall COVID-19 vaccine. The Advisory Committee is urging the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) to update the current COVID-19 vaccine to a monovalent vaccine (one-strain) based on the new variant of the virus. If adopted by the FDA, individuals would have access to a single dose that protects against the new variant, much like how the flu vaccine changes every fall. Studies have suggested that previous vaccines are unlikely to

protect against the original COVID-19 strain or previous variants. Pfizer and other vaccine manufacturers have and will submit applications to the FDA for their monovalent COVID-19 vaccines for individuals 6 months of age and older.


Monovalent. That is the new term we must learn to vaccinate ourselves against COVID-19 this fall. We must also be prepared to access the monovalent vaccine through traditional pathways like our local pharmacy and primary care office.

For information about these and more changes to COVID-19 vaccines, visit us at Click on today’s #AdvocacyMatters segment to find links to the information discussed today.


Letter to COVID-19 Vaccine Manufacturers – July 13, 2023 

Letter to COVID-19 Vaccine Manufacturers | 


U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 

Frequently Asked Questions 

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) – Commercialization of COVID-19 Medical Countermeasures ( 


U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Bridge Access Program Announcement 

Fact Sheet: HHS (Health and Human Services) Announces ‘HHS Bridge Access Program For COVID-19 Vaccines and Treatments’ to Maintain Access to COVID-19 Care for the Uninsured | 

Today’s #AdvocacyMatters segment was funded by the U.S. Administration for Community Living through a grant to USAging.  The contents do not necessarily represent the views of USAging, ACL, or the U.S. Government.