Monday, December 14, 2020

Pfizer’s COVID-19 Vaccine First to be Granted Emergency Use Authorization by the Food and Drug Administration

 On December 11, 2020, the FDA authorized the emergency use of the first COVID-19 vaccine, manufactured by Pfizer. Although details are rapidly evolving, we want to share what we know now to help you answer questions from your employer groups.

Initial supplies of the vaccine will be limited. Most states will distribute it in phases, with high-risk populations like healthcare workers and nursing home residents addressed first. As the vaccine becomes more readily available, each state will communicate when and where it is being offered. 

Once it is available to the general public, CareFirst members will pay nothing for any authorized COVID-19 vaccine. 

Initially, the federal government will purchase and distribute all COVID-19 vaccinations. During this period, employer-sponsored plans will only be responsible for the administration costs rather than the entire cost of the vaccines.

Administration costs are based on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services rates and are estimated to be about $17 for the first dose and $28 for the second, for a total cost of approximately $45. As additional vaccines are authorized and become available, different rates may be determined.