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COVID-19: Bridge Access Program, GAO Recommendations

Programming Note: Beginning July 24, the COVID-19 Newsline will transition from a standing weekly article to a monthly publication.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced July 13 that it will launch the Bridge Access Program this fall to provide no-cost COVID-19 vaccines to uninsured and underinsured adults following the end of the COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Program.

While COVID-19 vaccines will still be available at no-cost for Americans through most health insurance plans, an estimated 25-30 million adults aged 18-64 without insurance will not have access when vaccines move onto the commercial market.

The agency noted that the program only serves as a “temporary bridge” and will end in December 2024.

GAO Publishes COVID-19 Report

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report July 11 with updated recommendations for public health emergency preparedness and the distribution of federal assistance.

The agency urges the Department of Health and Human Services to continue progress toward establishing the public health situational awareness and biosurveillance network.

Additionally, due to an increase in improper payments including fraud during the pandemic, GAO suggests the Department of Labor develop and implement an antifraud strategy for Unemployment Insurance programs consistent with leading practices from GAO’s Fraud Risk Framework.

The report also provides updated data on how COVID-19 relief funds were spent.

Visit the America’s Essential Hospitals coronavirus resource page for more information about the pandemic.

Contact Senior Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at or 202.585.0127 with questions.


About the Author

Andrea Lugo is a communications associate at America's Essential Hospitals.

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