A grandmother in Wake County was shocked when she attempted to get the latest COVID vaccine for her grandsons, only to be told that she would have to pay hundreds of dollars for them.
Medicaid had covered the first COVID shots and booster for Twana Bannister’s grandkids previously. However, when she took them to a CVS in Knightdale for their latest vaccine, she was informed that Medicaid would not be paying for it.
“When we got to CVS, they turned us away and said they were denied by insurance. If I wanted to get them vaccinated, I would have to pay $190.99 each,” Bannister expressed.
She mentioned that both of her grandsons have Medicaid coverage and are 6 and 9 years old. “They said it was covered before, but North Carolina is no longer paying for it, and there was something about them having to be 19 and older,” Bannister added.
Last week, Bannister saw the reports about the surge of kids being hospitalized for respiratory viruses. “The CDC was on there, and they were saying something about get your kids the COVID shots, get them the flu shots,” Bannister recalled.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends children 6 months and older to get vaccinated.
When WRAL News reached out to CVS to inquire about coverage and costs of the COVID vaccines, CVS responded, “We follow NCDHHS guidelines for the administration and billing of COVID-19 vaccines.”
WRAL News also received a statement from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS), which clarified, “Children with Medicaid can receive the 2023-2024 COVID-19 vaccine at any local health department or Vaccines for Children Program-enrolled providers who administer vaccines free of charge.”
The NCDHHS also stated that pharmacies are not currently providers in the Vaccines for Children Program.
Bannister emphasized that her priority is to keep her grandkids safe and healthy. “Kids are in school, around other kids, and they need to be covered,” she urged. “Kids are our future.”