|October 7, 2022
Updated COVID-19 Vaccines Providing Protection Against Omicron Variant Available at No Cost
The Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), has announced that people with Medicare, Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) coverage, private insurance coverage, or no health coverage can get COVID-19 vaccines, including the updated (bivalent) Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines, at no cost, for as long as the federal government continues purchasing and distributing these COVID-19 vaccines. Updated COVID-19 boosters add Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 spike protein components to the current vaccine composition, helping to restore protection that has diminished since previous vaccination by targeting variants that are more transmissible and immune-evading.
The boosters are authorized for use per the following:
- Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine, Bivalent authorized for use in people ages 18 years and older.
- Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, Bivalent authorized for use in people ages 12 years and older.
Authorized as single booster dose administered at least 2 months after either:
- Completion of primary vaccination with any authorized or approved monovalent COVID-19 vaccine, or
- Receipt of the most recent booster dose with any authorized or approved monovalent COVID-19 vaccine.
Link to full News Alert
The CMS Office of Minority Health Director Dr. LaShawn McIver participated in a livestream forum with BlackDoctors.Org on October 4 to answer questions about vaccines including the newly updated COVID-19 vaccine.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated recommendations regarding updated COVID-19 vaccines.
- More information regarding the CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Program Provider Requirements and how the COVID-19 vaccine is provided through that program at no cost to recipients is available at https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/vaccination-provider-support.html
- For information on Medicare payment, billing and codes for the updated vaccine, visit the CMS COVID-19 Provider Toolkit
- For resources to help educate the public about COVID-19 vaccines, visit the HHS We Can Do This campaign. (Spanish)
- Visit vaccines.gov (English) or vacunas.gov (Spanish) to search for vaccines nearby.
- Find additional information on new COVID-19 vaccine-related Current Procedural Terminology codes here
- For additional Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) materials in other languages, please visit the following pages: