Experts: free vaccine could cost you in the long run

Posted at 6:41 PM, Nov 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-09 18:41:09-05

LEE COUNTY, Fla. — A COVID-19 vaccine is headed to the final stage of analysis. Pharmaceutical company Pfizer announced Monday their vaccine is 90 percent effective.

Cape Coral local Debbie Katz says she’s been waiting all year for a safe COVID-19 vaccine, and will be first in line to take it. But, Maria says you couldn’t pay her to take it.

“I don’t take the flu shot. I definitely will not take the COVID right now,” she said.

She added she’ll even find a new job if her current one requires it. But, Katz and her husband are elderly putting them at a high risk of complications if they catch the virus.

“My husband has COPD and emphysema, and he claims he’ll be the first in line when they come up with a vaccine,” said Katz.

Both President Donald Trump and President-Elect Joe Biden have promised a free vaccine to all Americans. The Trump Administration says all co-pays and deductibles will be waived. Economics Professor Victor Claar at Florida Gulf Coast University says that cost could eventually trickle down to you.

“I think in the short-term, it’s possible that we might see a premium increase, because these administrative costs are real,” said Claar. “And insurers and insurance companies and providers do have to pay for these things.”

Under the current administration’s plan, the government will cover private medicare advantage plans for the vaccine and medicare recipients won’t have to pay either. Claar says that’s also where your money comes in.

“It’s the taxpayer at some level who will be paying those bills that are included in those pieces of legislation and executive orders that require the delivery of the COVID vaccine now or at least as soon as it’s ready to go,” he said.

Right now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is monitoring any possible side effects of potential vaccines. They’re looking at how they affect particular groups based on age, race and underlying health conditions.