People have many reasons not to take the COVID vaccine, including fear of surprise bills

Local News

(WSYR-TV) — The COVID-19 vaccine is free, but many people don’t believe it, and are concerned about ending up with a surprise bill. This is keeping many from getting the shot.

A survey from the Kaiser Family foundation found that about a third of unvaccinated adults are unsure whether insurance covered the new vaccine and thought they might need to pay for it. Many were surprised by the large bills for COVID tests. The concern was especially pronounced among Hispanic and Black survey respondents.

Congress passed laws barring pharmacies and hospitals from billing patients for coronavirus vaccines. Signs at vaccination sites advertise that the shot is free. From the beginning, health officials and government leaders have told the public it won’t cost anything. There have been few reports of people experiencing charges.

For many, the potential cost of a vaccine is one of their reasons for remaining unvaccinated. It can often be hard for people to know, or even patients to identify, the decisive factor in refusing to get the shot. 

Separate research from the Census Bureau last month found that Americans were more worried about vaccine side effects than about potential charges.

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