Safe, effective and affordable: Key principles for a COVID-19 vaccine
A safe, effective and affordable vaccine is crucial to protecting public health and bringing the COVID-19 pandemic under control. It’s critical that any coronavirus vaccine – like any vaccine – is scientifically proven to be safe and effective, and is developed, allocated and distributed transparently, to ensure public trust.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies are committed to doing our part to cover the cost of the vaccination with no cost-sharing to members. To ensure public trust in a vaccine, achieve widespread immunization and save countless lives, federal, state and local governments should adopt these key principles:
Trust through Transparency
There must be an open and transparent process for the authorization, approval, allocation and distribution of any COVID-19 vaccine. Transparency will generate public support and trust that a vaccine will be safe and effective.
Priority for those Most at Risk
Distribution of the vaccine must prioritize those most at risk for contracting and dying from COVID-19, including health care and other front-line workers, the elderly, people of color and other vulnerable populations. There should be free access to the vaccine for the uninsured as well as no cost-sharing for the insured. Importantly, efforts must focus on helping underserved communities and people of color—groups that have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic—to get vaccinated.
The administration should provide clear and consistent recommendations to states and health care professionals for allocating and distributing a vaccine in alignment with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations, such as ensuring distribution for priority groups and storing vaccines properly.
Effective Communication and Outreach
A vaccine that never leaves the vial helps no one. There needs to be a federal and state communication and outreach campaign to build public trust, educate Americans on the safety and efficacy of the vaccine, and address vaccine hesitancy.
Surveillance for Safety and Efficacy
The federal government must continue to monitor the long-term impact of the vaccine, once distributed, and share findings with the public. This will not only support the safety of the American people, but is also key to retaining the public’s trust in the vaccine as it becomes available to more of the population.
- See how we’ve separated the myths from the facts on vaccines.
- Read how vaccines are safe, effective and necessary.
- Learn from Dr. William Schaffner, medical director at the National Foundation of Infectious Diseases, on the importance of maintaining vaccine rates even in a pandemic.
- See Blue Cross and Blue Shield data on how the pandemic has led to a dangerous drop in childhood vaccinations