Free COVID-19 vaccines available through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Bridge Access Program featured image with woman showing a Band-Aid on her arm.

Free COVID-19 vaccines available through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Bridge Access Program

July 03, 2024 Written by Sana Patil, and Madeline Greenly

During the COVID-19 pandemic, it became clear that numerous barriers prevented thousands of Americans across the country from accessing the much-needed vaccine, especially in underserved communities. One significant barrier was the lack of insurance coverage, a challenge faced by approximately 11 percent of the American population. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), between 25 to 30 million adults are without health insurance, and an even larger number possess insurance plans that fail to cover all COVID-19-related costs.


Bridge Access Program


In response to this pressing issue and to bolster vaccination efforts across the nation, the Bridge Access Program was established. This CDC program is designed to support this vulnerable demographic, specifically targeting adults aged 18 and older, by providing a free, updated COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccination remains the most effective method of safeguarding oneself from illness, significantly reducing the risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death. Through the program, numerous locations are available to ensure that 81 percent of uninsured individuals live within a convenient five-mile drive of a Bridge Access Program provider. To determine whether a local healthcare center or pharmacy is participating in the program, individuals can check the CDC database by searching their zip code and vaccine options.


Free vaccines are available through July. Take advantage of the summer months; get vaccinated ahead of summer and fall, when respiratory illnesses like COVID-19 tend to spread more easily. Receiving a COVID-19 vaccine not only protects you but also contributes to the broader community's health by helping to curb the spread of the virus. The Bridge Access Program website provides comprehensive insights and guidance for those seeking more information.


About UD Cooperative Extension’s health disparities work

The Extension Foundation, in cooperation with the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy, through an Interagency Agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) funding the Cooperative Extension System to address health disparities among rural and other underserved communities. This initiative is called the Extension Collaborative on Immunization Teaching & Engagement (EXCITE). University of Delaware has completed multiple projects and programs under EXCITE, helping provide a better understanding and awareness of vaccine education to community members, healthcare professionals, and community leaders.


A photo of a mother holding her daughter at the doctor's office

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