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‘We’re absolutely making it too hard’: The complexity of adult immunization delivery hinders vaccine uptake


In recent years, the number of vaccinations adults are being asked to get has expanded substantially. As a result, keeping track of which vaccines are recommended — and avoiding paying for them out of pocket — has grown increasingly convoluted.

To stay abreast of what to get and when and where to get it almost requires would-be vaccine recipients to have advanced degrees. Alison Buttenheim has a couple — and yet she recently found herself shelling out $160 for her latest Covid booster. She wanted to get it before attending a conference, but the only place she could nab an appointment — at an independent pharmacy — wasn’t in her insurance network.

She thinks she might be able to get the money back if she jumps through some insurance company hoops, but knows from her research that barriers like these deter a lot of people from keeping up to date on immunizations.

“We’re absolutely making it too hard,” Buttenheim said of the current patchwork system for adult vaccination.

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