Is your clinic charging individuals for the vaccine?
Since the rollout of the new COVID-19 vaccinations, acting U.S. Attorney Philip A. Talbert and others released statements warning individuals that they should not be asked to pay to receive the COVID vaccine. Clinics that require individuals to pay for their vaccine are doing so unlawfully.
“Covid-19 has taken a toll on every aspect of our lives, but we are finally turning a corner and must continue working together to get California back on track,” said California Attorney General Rob Bonta. “Vaccines are a key component of that plan. Unfortunately, some vaccine providers are choosing to charge for something that should be free to everyone in our community. Charging for a Covid-19 vaccination creates a barrier to low-income families, including communities who have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. Let me be clear: Covid-19 vaccines are available at no charge to all who qualify.”
“Charging people to get the COVID-19 vaccine or denying people from getting the vaccine if they cannot pay is a risk to public health and safety, and disproportionately impacts at-risk communities and communities of limited means,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Talbert.
Both the Centers for Disease Control and the DOJ warned that violation of the agreement will result in criminal and civil penalties (under the False Claims Act), as well as suspension or termination from the CDC Vaccination Program.
“Our office has sent multiple cease and desist letters to vaccine providers that they must immediately stop this practice. All vaccine providers must comply with the agreement, and I urge members of the public to report those providers who do not,” said Talbert. His office has communicated with clinics allegedly charging for vaccines. The press office said there are no known clinics in Fresno, Kings, Tulare or Madera counties that have been warned.