CDC Approves Pediatric COVID-19 Vaccine – Coverage Available Without Cost-Sharing

On November 2, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that children ages 5 to 11 years old be vaccinated against COVID-19 with the Pfizer-BioNtech pediatric vaccine, allowing providers to begin vaccinating them as soon as possible.  Vaccines will be available at pediatric healthcare provider offices, pharmacies, Federally Qualified Health Centers, and more. Distribution began this week, with the expectation that “the program will be fully up and running the week of November 8, 2021” according to Jeff Zients, President Biden’s coronavirus response coordinator.

Following the CDC’s announcement, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) together with the CDC issued a press release to remind providers and eligible consumers that coverage is available without cost-sharing under the Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and in the commercial market.  CMS and CDC, along with the United States Departments of Treasury and Labor, are hosting a Town Hall via Zoom on Monday, November 8, 2021, from 2:00-3:00 PM ET, to discuss the COVID-19 pediatric vaccination efforts and COVID-19 payment system updates. The Town Hall is designed for health insurance issuers and payers, and Medicaid Health Plans. Policy experts will present information on these topics and participants will have an opportunity to ask questions. Registration is available here.