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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: December 1, 2020 09:00 AM
From: Senator Vincent J. Hughes
To: All Senate members
Subject: Eliminating costs of a COVID vaccine
In the near future I plan on introducing legislation that would cover the cost of the COVID-19 vaccine for individuals when it becomes available.

There is no doubt that COVID-19 has up-ended our lives.  In order to protect loved ones and prevent the spread, we have been asked to make a lot of sacrifices over the last year.  Recently, there has been some promising early results from various vaccine makers. Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca have all reported promising early results from their COVID-19 vaccine trials.

As vaccine manufacturers take their next steps in the approval process, I believe it is necessary that the Commonwealth take steps to ensure when a safe and effective vaccine is available, it will be available to everyone at no cost.  This legislation will compliment federal provisions relating to costs associated with a COVID vaccine.  With how aggressive COVID-19 spreads, it will be necessary to widely vaccinate the residents of the Commonwealth.  In these trying times, I do not think anyone should have to worry about being able to afford a COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available.

Under my bill, insurance companies will be required to provide the COVID-19 vaccine at no cost to a policy holder.  Insurance companies have provided similar coverage for testing of COVID-19.  This legislation would also require insurance offered through Medicaid or CHIP to cover the cost of the vaccine.  Finally, my bill would require the Commonwealth to cover the costs of the vaccine for any individual who is not insured.

I hope you will join me in sponsoring this legislation to ensure everyone will have access to the COVID-19 vaccine.