Make RSV Vaccine More Accessible for Vulnerable Populations

Target: Grace Lee, Chair of CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices

Goal: Clarify vague recommendations that are preventing RSV vaccine access for millions of Americans.

Stories of individuals having difficulty getting updated COVID-19 vaccines are on the rise, but the situation with a newer vaccine is causing even more problems. When the first vaccines for RSV were approved, this development was heralded as an important breakthrough. The respiratory virus, much like COVID-19 and the flu, can cause serious complications such as pneumonia in older people and individuals with preexisting conditions. Since the new vaccine affords about 80 percent protection, it could be a tremendous benefit for anyone worried about catching the disease. But vague language and guidelines are preventing many of these individuals from securing this protection.

For one, older Americans who have Medicare can only get the vaccine with their insurance if they have a Part D plan. Unlike other vaccines, the RSV shot is not covered under Medicare Part B. To make matters worse, many private insurers are taking advantage of unclear rules set forth by policy to deny vaccine coverage to their consumers.

Sign the petition below to demand updated and clear guidance that will ensure no one is left behind.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Dr. Lee,

The healthcare industry turns to the recommendations of this committee to guide patient treatments. The committee has unfortunately failed to create strong and clear guidelines regarding the RSV vaccine, instead putting the responsibility on “shared clinical decision-making.” While this may sound reasonable in theory, in practice insurance companies are using the wording to deny their paying consumers access to this important preventive treatment. Even the Medicare system, in the absence of decisive guidance, is relegating the RSV vaccine to Part D coverage…coverage that millions of Medicare recipients lack.

Please fill in these loopholes that are allowing too many patients who desperately want this protection to go untreated. Strengthen guidelines on RSV vaccines and ensure equal access for all Americans.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Vlada Carpovich


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