The new rules state that for any immigration medicals completed on or after May 1, 2024, a Polio booster (IPV) is required for all applicants aged 2 months and older, including all adults, unless proper documentation is provided of previous primary vaccination.

free covid 19 vaccines

Jul 01, 2024

USCIS Immigration News

CDC Bridge Access Program: For Those in Need of Free COVID-19 Vaccines

Getting vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus is an immigration medical exam requirement and essential to protect yourself from severe illness and death while contributing to the overall public health and preventing the spread of the virus. However, many low-income individuals may struggle to afford the vaccine, so ensuring access to cost-free vaccines is crucial to getting people vaccinated in large numbers. The CDC has initiated the Bridge Access Program to offer free COVID-19 vaccines. Nevertheless, not everyone can get free vaccines under this program.

Let us discuss more about the bridge access program, how it works, its eligibility criteria, and how to enroll.

What Is the CDC Bridge Access Program?

The CDC Bridge Access Program is a crucial initiative to ensure free COVID-19 vaccines for adults by partnering with local community organizations and healthcare providers. By offering cost-free vaccines, the vaccine bridge program can increase vaccination rates and help slow the virus's spread. This program is important in ensuring that most people can protect themselves and their loved ones from Covid-19.

How Does the Program Work?

The CDC's Bridge Access Program offers complimentary COVID-19 vaccinations to uninsured and underinsured adults. This initiative is scheduled to conclude on December 31, 2024.

Who Is Eligible for Accessing Free COVID-19 Vaccines?

The COVID-19 vaccines are available at no cost to individuals aged 18 and older who do not have health insurance or whose insurance does not cover the full cost of the vaccine at an in-network provider.

How Can You Avail Yourself of the Program?

The Bridge Access Program is intended to eliminate barriers for patients seeking COVID-19 vaccines. Healthcare systems, not patients, will be responsible for patient eligibility verification.

Eligible adults can receive free COVID-19 vaccines through the Bridge Access Program without having to enroll. Providers will inquire about health insurance status during the appointment to determine eligibility. While identification may be requested at the time of service, it is not necessary to present identification or proof of residency to receive a free COVID-19 vaccine through this program.

Why You Should Get Vaccinated

Vaccines have been proven to be safe and effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization, and death caused by the virus. By getting vaccinated, we can help slow the spread of COVID-19 and contribute to the collective effort to reach herd immunity. This protects vulnerable populations who may be at higher risk of complications from the virus and helps our healthcare systems from becoming overwhelmed. So, get vaccinated against COVID-19 to help protect yourself and those around you.

Information and Additional Resources for Further Assistance

You can get free COVID-19 vaccines under the Bridge Access Program at:

1. Local Healthcare Providers

They collaborate with state and local health departments to ensure the distribution of complimentary COVID-19 vaccines via providers within their network.

2. Local Health Centers

State and municipal immunization initiatives work with HRSA-supported health centers to offer free COVID-19 vaccinations.

The Health Resources & Services Administration allocates funds to HRSA-supported health centers to facilitate services that promote fair and equal access to COVID-19 vaccines.

3. Pharmacies

CDC joins hands with Walgreens, CVS, and eTrueNorth under the existing Increasing Community Access to Testing (ICATT) contract to administer free COVID-19 vaccinations.

You can also visit vaccines.gov to explore healthcare providers participating in the Bridge Access Program, which offers complimentary COVID-19 vaccinations.

Here is how you can find providers participating in the bridge access program:

  • Begin by choosing "Find COVID-19 Vaccines".
  • Next, input your 5-digit zip code and specify which vaccine options you are seeking.
  • Proceed by selecting "Explore COVID-19 vaccines".
  • You can refine locations by providers and pharmacies enrolled in the Bridge Access Program by choosing "Bridge Access Program Participant" under the "only show locations with:" category.
  • Once you have identified a convenient location, we suggest contacting them via phone to confirm that individuals eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine under the Bridge Program will not incur any vaccine charges or administration fees.
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