Editorial: No one can be turned away from vaccine


This is a recent editorial by The Marietta Times.

An Ohio man’s accusations are raising questions about whether those who are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine in the Buckeye State can be turned away because they do not have health insurance. The answer is an unequivocal no.

According to a man who said he is a diabetic, there were no appointments available close to where he lives when he became eligible, so he arranged one a couple of hours from his home. He alleges that when he arrived at the Little Clinic inside Kroger in Piqua, Ohio, he was asked for his insurance and ID. When he told them he did not have health insurance, he claims those working at the Kroger clinic told him they could therefore not give him the shot.

If those accusations prove true, disciplinary action should be taken against the Kroger employee — or any supervisors who gave that person the false impression someone could be turned away for lack of insurance.

COVID-19 vaccines are free, for everyone. Those who are uninsured are covered through funding in the federal relief bill.

“It is taken care of through the federal government, so there should be no confusion whether you have insurance or not,” Christa Hyson, assistant director for emergency response and public information officer for the Health Collaborative, told another media outlet. “Some providers bill an administrative fee to your insurance. There is zero out-of-pocket cost to you.”

Folks, do not let a lack of health insurance coverage keep you from getting this life-saving vaccine; and if you are turned away, report it. We are in the midst of a public health crisis, but there is hope. Do not let administrative mistakes and incompetence dash that hope.

— The Marietta Times, March 18