Idaho residents should have easy access to COVID-19 vaccines — with no out-of-pocket expenses — when they become available.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has teamed up with a number of local pharmacies to provide vaccinations.
“The vast majority of Americans live within five miles of a pharmacy, and our new agreement with pharmacy partners across America is a critical step toward making sure all Americans have access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines when they are available,” Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said in a news release.
Albertsons, Fred Meyer, Costco, Walmart, Walgreens, Rite Aid and CVS are among the participating pharmacies. So are Good Neighbor Pharmacies, whose affiliates include Vic’s Family Pharmacy in Nampa and The Prescription Pad in Fruitland, along with 18 other pharmacies in other parts of the state.
The program will cover 60% of pharmacies in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Other pharmacies can still sign onto the program.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said the first vaccines should be available before the end of the year. It’s unlikely that there will be enough initially for all adults. Supplies will increase over time, and the CDC says all adults should be able to get vaccinated in 2021.
Vaccines for young children are not expected to be available until additional studies are conducted.
The vaccines will be provided to pharmacies at no cost. They will be able to charge a fee to administer the vaccine, with all but one of the vaccines in development requiring two shots.
The administrative fee is reimbursable through private or public insurance or for uninsured patients, through the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Provider Relief Fund.