Maine’s attorney general has joined a dozen of his peers from other states to urge Congress to provide a COVID-19 vaccine at no cost to people who are covered by Medicare or Medicaid, as well as people who are uninsured.

The letter signed by 13 attorneys general asks Congress to codify an interim rule that would provide the vaccine to Medicare recipients at no cost, fund programs for uninsured people to cover administrative fees and increase financial support for Medicaid.

“We all support the expeditious development of safe and effective vaccines,” the letter said. “However, it is critical that we do not allow financial or other barriers to deter people from receiving an effective vaccine and stopping the spread of the virus.”

This summer, data showed that Maine had the worst racial disparity in COVID-19 infection rates, but that gap existed nationwide as well.

“A co-pay or out of pocket fee may deter many Americans already struggling financially due to the pandemic from getting immunized which would be a significant barrier to stopping COVID-19 infections particularly in low-income and minority communities,” the letter said. “Tragically, these communities are already disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.”

Maine Attorney General Aaron Frey could not be reached for comment on what else his office might do to ensure there is more equity in the distribution of the vaccine in Maine.

Frey was part of the coalition led by New York Attorney General Letitia James. Other attorneys general signed on from California, Colorado, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa and Massachusetts.

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