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We're ready to take on the viruses, says RWJF health expert


Fall is here, winter is on the way, and to health experts that means one thing — will we have a tripledemic of Covid, the flu and RSV, the respiratory virus that can be dangerous for children and older people? Dr. Julie Morita of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation said this year we’re prepared.

“This is a really exciting fall for public health. We have three vaccines that are safe and effective and really prevent serious infection,” she said. Morita said all the vaccines can be had for free.

“The Covid vaccine, they can cost at least $115 a shot if you don’t have insurance. There is a federal program that’s called the Bridge Access program that makes the vaccines available for people who don’t have insurance and that’s by way of CVS, Walgreen’s, and eTrueNorth pharmacy,” said Morita.

“If people don’t have insurance, and they want to get the Covid vaccine, they should visit vaccines dot gov so they can find a free Covid vaccine in their neighborhood,” she said.

eTrueNorth ran many drive-thru Covid testing sites across the country in the early months of the pandemic.

If you want the Covid vaccine and don’t have insurance, your best bet is to go to your local CVS or Walgreen’s for a free vaccine through a federal program. The RSV vaccine is recommended for children and those 60 and up. If you have Marketplace health insurance the flu shot is free from an in-network provider. The RSV vaccine is covered under private insurance without a copay. All three are covered by Medicare.

Janice Kirkel is a lifelong award-winning journalist who has done everything from network newscasts to national and local sports reports to business newscasts to specialized reporting and editing in technical areas of business and finance such as bankruptcy, capital structure changes and reporting on the business of the investment business.