COVID-19 vaccines spread hope as Cigna helps spread the word

Cigna welcomes and encourages the use of available COVID-19 vaccines authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). According to manufacturer-reported data and FDA evaluation, all three vaccines currently in use in the U.S. – manufactured by Pfizer-BioNtech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson, respectively – are highly effective at preventing COVID-19-related severe infections and death. Effective August 24, 2021, the two-dose COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech, now branded Comirnaty, became the first to gain full U.S. regulatory approval for individuals ages 16 and older. The next day, on August 25, Moderna announced it completed its submission to the FDA to request full approval for its COVID-19 vaccine - for people ages 18 and older. The clinical trials and the FDA’s review for emergency use authorization, and subsequent full approvals, continue to follow the same scientific, thorough safety and efficacy measures as any other vaccine we use today.

Clinical trials to determine COVID-19 vaccine recommendations for children 11 and younger are still underway. The Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine continues to be the only such vaccine to have emergency use authorization for children ages 12 through 15.

“Together, industry and government have responded to this crisis with unprecedented speed, while also safeguarding public health and safety. I’m often asked if these vaccines should be trusted. And my answer is ‘Yes.’ I personally participated in one of the clinical trials, understand the FDA’s thorough evaluation process, and appreciate the public openness of drug companies and the FDA,” said Cigna Chief Clinical Officer, Dr. Steve Miller.

Any FDA-approved vaccine is covered as a preventive service. As such, customer out-of-pocket cost for the COVID-19 vaccine will be $0. The vaccine provider may charge Cigna an administrative fee, but customers will not have to pay anything during the public health emergency period.

While cost is no longer a barrier and availability continues to improve, access to the vaccine is vastly different for many Americans. Health equity remains a persistent challenge. Cigna has recognized and worked to address health disparities for years, including those around vaccination. Most recently with COVID-19, Cigna joined America’s Health Insurance Plans’ Vaccine Community Connectors pilot initiative to drive health equity and remove barriers to assist approximately one million minority seniors 65+ get vaccinated within 100 days. After all, we can only achieve herd immunity and overcome this pandemic together.

We have a long way still to go before we can say the pandemic is truly over. So, it’s important to remain vigilant. Even after fully-vaccinated, prevention remains essential – washing hands, wearing masks, physical distancing, per the guidance provided by local health authorities nationwide, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the World Health Organization. Do it for yourself, your family, and those around you who may not be vaccinated yet.

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Content is for informational purposes only, based on current information, and subject to change. Please follow official guidance provided by local health authorities and government officials when developing reopening plans to meet the unique needs and characteristics of each location and workforce population.

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