Medicare Recipients in Wisconsin Can Get the Shingles Vaccine for Free Because of President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act

Baldwin and Rendon

Sen. Tammy Baldwin meets with area resident Martha Rendon at the Aging and Disability Resource Center of Brown County on Jan. 12, 2023, as part of a roundtable discussion about provisions of President Biden's Inflation Reduction Act. (Photo submitted)

By Martha Rendon

March 28, 2023

A Green Bay-area senior who met with Sen. Tammy Baldwin said the move saves people hundreds of dollars and can prevent a painful medical ordeal.

Getting shingles is no fun. My husband, mother, and sister have all had it. If you, like me, have been fortunate enough to avoid getting it yourself, you may have the shingles vaccine to thank.

That particular vaccine is done in two doses, and for a long time, it wasn’t cheap. Around $200 per dose, upwards of $800 for a married couple. Thankfully, we were able to afford it, but I know many other seniors on fixed incomes who weren’t. They just had to take their chances and hope they didn’t deal with the excruciating pain that comes with the virus activating in your body.

Not anymore.

Thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act signed into law by President Joe Biden last year, the shingles vaccine is now free for seniors on Medicare. In fact, every adult vaccine recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices is now available without a copay under Medicare drug plans – including DTaP, influenza and more.

That provision went into effect on January 1st, guaranteeing seniors like me that we no longer have to factor in cost when determining how best to keep our family and loved ones safe. 

For me, making the DTaP vaccine more readily available for Seniors, at no cost, is the biggest deal. Shingles is miserable, I’ve seen it. But at least it’s just you that it impacts, you’re not going to give shingles to anyone else.

The DTaP vaccine on the other hand, gives me the peace of mind that I’m not putting others at risk. We’ve all lived what that feels like during these last few years with the Covid. Well, Covid isn’t the only virus that has airborne transmission, and the DTaP vaccine knocks out scary ones like diphtheria and pertussis, which can put infants at severe risk.

Now, thanks to the leadership of Democrats in Congress and President Biden, there’s one less barrier for seniors to accessing these vaccines that keep us healthy and our families safe. Mere months after making these vaccines free for those on Medicare, I know that seniors are already saving money due to the Inflation Reduction Act.

And that’s a big deal.


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