Vaccines are BCBSND’s investment in health
Greg Glasner, BCBSND Chief Medical Officer, Fargo
COVID-19 vaccination is an investment in our individual and collective futures. While social distancing, mask-wearing and handwashing have helped us in the short term, vaccines offer a long-term solution for a safe return to normal.
BCBSND is helping to ensure members who want it have access to the COVID-19 vaccine. One means of increasing access is by covering vaccination costs. It’s an extension of our commitment to put members’ health and well-being first.
Traditionally, there are two types of costs related to immunizations–the cost of the vaccine itself and the professional costs associated with administering the vaccine. In the case of COVID-19, the vaccine itself is being paid for through U.S. taxpayer dollars. The cost of medical staff to administer the vaccine is being absorbed by BCBSND. Therefore, BCBSND members can receive the vaccine with no out-of-pocket cost.
As we inch closer to business as usual, those in the medical field continue to stress the importance of safely reaching herd immunity. That occurs when most people, about 70-85%, become immune to the virus. The safest way to reach herd immunity is through immunization.
While the COVID-19 vaccines are new, the science behind them is not. Decades of revolutionary virology and immunology research led to the viable vaccines before us now. Their quick entry into the marketplace was not a shortcut in research but rather is a direct result of private and public entities working together to expedite the development and delivery of the vaccines.
BCBSND encourages vaccination for every North Dakotan, unless you have a medical diagnosis that prohibits you from vaccination. Even if you don’t feel you’re especially at risk, please consider vaccination to protect those not able to receive the immunization.
While the vaccine will prevent most from getting sick, ongoing research is needed to determine if the vaccines prevent you from harboring and spreading coronavirus. Experts are continually learning about similarities and differences between natural immunity and vaccine-induced immunity. If you have questions about whether you should receive the vaccine, talk to your physician.
Even if you already had COVID-19, I recommend you get vaccinated, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends. All North Dakotans are eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccines. To find the nearest vaccine distribution location near you, go to vaccinefinder.org.